With Christmas practically around the corner, retailers are under pressure to be ready for the festive Peak season. But despite anticipation that this will be the biggest eCommerce Christmas yet, there are some very real customer frustrations that come hand in hand with online delivery.

According to research, 59 percent of consumers are less likely or unlikely to order from a retailer ever again if they have a negative delivery experience. What’s more, unfortunately for retailers, 78 percent are likely to tell their friends about it.

This highlights how all too easy it is to lose customers at the final mile. In fact, beyond a loss of existing customers, shortcomings in the delivery of goods can discourage potential customers and future business too.

However, there is light at the end of the tunnel. By making delivery a priority, retailers have the opportunity to build consumer loyalty and drive repeat purchases. Getting the delivery process right means consumers will reward retailers with their loyalty. As many as 95 percent of consumers say a positive delivery experience would encourage them to shop more with that retailer in the future.

Another way that retailers can help consumers get the flexible and convenient experience that they crave is by embracing alternative delivery models. It’s also positive to see that UK consumers are enthusiastic to try out these new models that will give them more control over their online retail experience.

In fact, more than a third of consumers (35 percent) would be happy with deliveries dropped off by drones. This is particularly the case for those aged 18-24, who are three times more likely to take a delivery by drone than those aged 55 and over.As well as this, a large percentage of shoppers would use alternative delivery models which are currently on offer (76 percent would choose same-day delivery, 73 percent: Sunday delivery and 69 percent: one-hour delivery).

Now that the statistics are in, it will be interesting to see just how many retailers take advantage of both what’s on offer and what’s new to the market.

UK eCommerce is truly a collaborative industry and improving delivery experience will require retailers to encourage innovation across the whole value chain: from the online shopping experience, through to speed of delivery and introducing more flexible delivery options. Perhaps even drones. It’s tricky to get the delivery experience just right, particularly as consumers get increasingly demanding for more flexibility, convenience and control.

However, we’ve noticed that more UK retailers are working with delivery carriers to innovate to meet these evolving consumer demands – Click and Collect and Sunday Service are prime examples of this.

The challenge for retailers now is how to keep momentum and innovation high and to continue to look for ways to better serve online shoppers. UK eCommerce is at the beginning of an exciting journey and the speed of change and growth in the industry will be incredible and make the industry here world-leading in customer experience.

Angela O'Connell

Angela O'Connell


Angela O’Connell, Marketing and Strategy Director, MetaPack.