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34% of merchants surveyed do not offer next day delivery

34% of merchants surveyed do not offer next day delivery

Free and next day delivery are the biggest influences on consumers’ purchasing decisions, but merchants are failing to meet these needs according to research, The Retail Expectation Gap, undertaken by Parcelhub and Brightpearl.

58% of consumers said that free delivery would make them more likely to shop with a brand and would be more tolerant of longer delivery times when delivery is free. The majority (40%) said that they would be happy to wait for up to a week, with only 11% expecting free delivery on the same or the next day.

However, when it comes to paying for delivery, 45% of consumers said the options of next day delivery would make them more likely to shop with a retailer. This was more than double the number who said the same for 2-day delivery and of click and collect, also at 22% of consumers.

For retailers, understanding these expectations enables them to enhance their delivery offering to increase sales. So far, 34% of merchants surveyed do not offer next day delivery and are missing out on these potential sales. Those who have invested in Order Management Systems (OMS) or Delivery Management Platforms (DMP) are in a better position to offer next day delivery as the delivery option availability rises to 74% and 73% respectively, thus enhancing their ability to complete a sale.

Although (73%) of merchants believe they are offering enough delivery options, one-third do not offer next day delivery, the most popular option for consumers. The same issue exists when considering the top five delivery options that consumers would like to see in terms of in-flight delivery options. With many retailers not currently offering these delivery options this presents an opportunity for them to differentiate against competitors.

Retailers that have invested in technology are more confident in meeting expectations because they can offer more choice. 85% of those using an OMS feel confident in the options offered, compared to only 67% who do not use an OMS. Among those using a DMP, 87% feel confident in their delivery options offered compared to only 62% who do not use a DMP.

For SMS notifications, 58% of those using a DMP support this feature today, compared to 33% of retailers who provide SMS notifications but who do not use DMP. Similarly, 29% of DMP users already support the 2-hour delivery window option, which drops to 7% of retailers who support this option but do not use a DMP.

Speed of delivery is also absolutely critical and almost half of retailers agree that they feel that they lose customers due to missed or delayed deliveries. Speed of delivery is highest among OMS and DMP users. For example, in the fastest click to delivery window bracket (2 days), 50% of retailers using an OMS and DMP fell into this category, which dropped to only one-in-five retailers who are not using an OMS or DMP.

Similarly, retailers using a DMP are also faster at delivering to customers, as 40% of retailers in this category report an average delivery time of two days or fewer compared to 22% among those who do not use a DMP.

The survey also reveals how those using DMPs are also much more likely to be considering new delivery options. For example, ‘1-hour delivery window’ and ‘nominate a new day’ are both under consideration by 67% of DMP users. This compares to only 25% who are not using this technology. ‘Picture at the door’ is similarly being considered by 67% of DMP users compared to only 17% not using; and two thirds are also evaluating the option to amend delivery preferences up to point of delivery. This compares to only 8% of those who are not using a DMP.

Steve Marjoram, Managing Director Parcelhub, said: “The world of eCommerce has undergone a lot of changes and new hurdles in the last year. Retailers need to invest in their order and delivery management to overcome the challenges and to ensure that they can be adaptable and flexible, as well as offering an experience after the buy button that matches the expectations of the consumer.”

For more information about The Retail Expectation Gap research of consumers and retailers into the evolving eCommerce delivery landscape – download the white paper.

About this study

The survey was conducted among 1000 consumers and 100 retail decision makers in organisations with a turnover of over £250K. The interviews were conducted online by Parcelhub and Brightpearl.

About Parcelhub and Brightpearl

Parcelhub is the UK’s leading provider of multi-carrier delivery solutions and proactive tracking support. Flexible and scalable, its portfolio of services integrates seamlessly with marketplaces, eCommerce platforms and order management systems, providing hundreds of multi-channel retailers, global brands and wholesalers with one access point to 20+ carriers and 600+ delivery options.

Parcelhub is part of the Whistl Group. Whistl is the leading delivery management company enabling customers to get their letters, leaflets or parcels to customers efficiently and cost effectively both in the UK and internationally. It is headquartered in Marlow with 8 depots and 11 fulfilment centres across the UK handling 3.8bn items a year. The company is privately held with over 1,500 employees and a turnover in excess of £600m. It has grown significantly over the years and is now expanding its presence in the eCommerce sector offering fulfilment services to customers through a seamless experience from first click to final delivery.

Brightpearl is a complete digital operations platform for brands, retailers and wholesalers, that’s designed to scale with fast-growing eCommerce brands. The platform offers flexibility to respond to rapid changes in demand and smooth integration with other core operational systems within the organisation. Brightpearl manages everything after the buy button; from order management to accounting, inventory, warehouse management, returns and more.

Simon Wright

As SEO and Content Marketing Manager at the Whistl Group, Simon has over 10 years' experience in both B2B and B2C marketing, and as a result, offers a unique perspective on the pre- and post-checkout delivery experiences. Simon writes regularly for both the Parcelhub and Whistl blogs and is passionate about helping retailers make delivery their competitive advantage.

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