European (and Many Other) Retailers Fail to Meet Customer Expectations for Delivery Alternatives

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A wide range of delivery alternatives is one of the most decisive factors for an e-commerce operation to succeed. Convenience and flexibility are at the heart of what makes online shopping more appealing to many customers than visiting a store. Imperial College’s Consumer Shopping Survey shows that 74% of UK online shoppers consider convenience of delivery the most important factor influencing their purchase. What’s more, 47% of respondents said they’re willing to spend more with a retailer that offers them the flexibility they need when it comes to delivery, pick up, or return alternatives.

Although these numbers might make it seem like a no brainer for retailers to embrace a broader range of delivery options to increase their conversion, the reality is far from it. Earlier this month, Radial published new research showing that European retailers are seriously lagging behind when it comes to offering customers a wide range of delivery methods. This eDelivery Index of 2017 shows some shocking numbers highlighting the failings on retailers from UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain.

Surprisingly, only half of retailers offer express delivery option. Also, just 6% of retailers surveyed across UK and Europe offer ‘same day’ delivery alternative. While it is true that only a smaller proportion of users would choose to pay for faster delivery, it’s essential to have it as an option. Choice is what today’s customer craves, and when a shopper needs something urgently, they want it asap – even if it means paying a premium for the delivery.

Radial’s research identifies that a minimum of 3 delivery options is key to cater to most purchase decisions:

  1. A standard delivery option when cost is the deciding factor.
  2. An express option when time is of the essence for the customer.
  3. An alternative delivery destination when home collection is an issue (i.e. pick-up locker, click and collect)

The UK, Germany, and France are currently leading across Europe in terms of delivery flexibility, with an average of 4.4 delivery options in UK, 3.8 options in Germany, and 3.5 in France. Italy and Spain are significantly lagging behind with an average of 1.9 and 2.3 options respectively.

As the landscape shifts and customer demand grows, it’s now up to retailers not only in Europe but across the globe to modernize and invest more resources into creating a better post-purchase experience – from customer support to deliveries. After all, the e-commerce brand experience goes beyond the website and entails every single touchpoint through the customer’s journey.

Raanan Cohen

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