In 2012 the UK industry association for online retail, IMRG, estimated that the country's online retail market is worth a staggering £78bn.
The IMRG "UK Consumer Home Delivery Review 2013" (survey of 1,200 UK residents) found that the key to retaining customers is clear information prior to ordering, the ability to provide status updates in transit and an easy returns process. In essence the 'Review' found that consumers want to be in control of their home deliveries.
“74 per cent of consumers said that a good delivery experience would encourage them to shop again with a specific retailer.”
When asked what would make deliveries more convenient:
The 'Review' reports that returns have become an integral part of the delivery offer and if you get that wrong then it's a barrier to the initial sale. Almost 90 per cent of consumers said that they would like prompt acknowledgement by the retailer that the returned order has been received. Obviously an acknowledgement reassures the consumer that they should be due a credit/repayment shortly.
The 'Review' highlights that more needs to be done to convince UK consumers to buy from a non-UK website. 62 per cent of consumers said that they were concerned about long delivery times and the lack of ability to track the order with a non-UK site. Whilst 59 per cent expressed concern about the returns process.
The fact that 56 per cent of the consumers surveyed had or may have been influenced by others comments on social media means that the delivery process should not be ignored or treated any differently from the rest of the shopping experience offered by the retailer.