Why Online Shopping Delivery Fails

Imy Clarke - On behalf of Alchemy Recruitment, July 3, 2017

Every year the number of purchases made online continues to increase, and as of 2017, online shoppers in the UK spend more per household than in any other county, an average of £4,611 per year. Yet, amongst all of these purchases are many deliveries that fail to reach their consumers…buy why?

Towards the end of last year it was revealed by Direct Line Home Insurance that more than £250M worth of online shopping was estimated to have gone missing in that last year alone – packages for around 3.6 million different members of the UK population. In the last five years, Direct Line estimated that more than 18 million people had packages go missing or undelivered, and each of these packages was worth an average of £68.  

There are many different reasons for why these packages could disappear. There are obviously cases of theft and fraudulent companies, but these packages can also disappear due to incompetence, mishandling or a demand that a company cannot cope with. Due to the huge shortage of HGV drivers, a peak in demand, such as Black Friday or the pre-Christmas rush, can push delivery services to their breaking point. With a race of orders, it’s more than possible that some get lost, left behind, or simply never make it out of the warehouse in time. Retailers just haven’t got the end fulfilment capabilities for these times and need to question whether they should continue to push forward marketing promising certain delivery times if they might not be able to make them.

The demand proving most challenging for logistics companies, however, is ‘Next Day Delivery’. This service is a feature that so many online consumers are crying out for. It has a potential revenue of £4.9 billion as many consumers suggest that they would spend more with their preferred retailers if this delivery option was offered. But of these preferred retailers, only 4% currently offer this. It’s an untapped area of the market, but for logistics companies, ‘Next Day Delivery’ on such a mass scale would be a huge challenge. While the demand for it is there, the supply of freight vehicles and staff is still at a low. No doubt this will be the next step in online delivery, but there needs to be more improvements in the supply chain before it is truly possible. 

There are continuing improvements in online delivery, however. As it grows increasingly popular, and more and more companies do offer consumers next day delivery, logistics companies and freight divisions are becoming increasingly efficient in their arrangements of delivery slots and parcel tracking. Even offering such schemes as ‘Buy Online, Pick Up in Store’ is having massive positive impacts on the delivery times and convenience of ecommerce. This scheme is particularly successful as it can reduce people’s fears of theft, reduce any chances of loss in case the package has to be redelivered, and it also can make ‘next-day delivery’ a much more feasible reality to many companies. 

Convenience is a major part of today’s ecommerce market, and companies should certainly include delivery as a part of this consideration – it should not be just an afterthought. For companies that fail to offer such a fast, convenient and flexible delivery service, where packages are tracked and arrive on time, they are likely to suffer in business. The consumer demands efficiency.

Posted in categories: Shipping
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