75% of consumers stop purchasing from a retailer due to delivery miscommunications

  • Research reveals UK delivery customer experience epidemic, with retailers losing customers due to poor post-purchase and delivery tracking communications
  • 71% of consumers had to contact customer services up to three times in the last six months for information about their deliveries

New research from delivery experience technology platform Sorted has revealed that 75% of consumers would stop using a retailer if they frequently messed up communication updates regarding their delivery. With customer expectations higher than ever, UK retailers have reached a critical point with the delivery experiences they offer to consumers.

The research, consisting of 2,000 UK respondents aged 18-35, found that consumers had to contact customer services twice on average for information about their deliveries in the last six months, with 71% having contacted between 1-3 times. Surprisingly, one in ten consumers had to make contact with customer services four or more times for updates on their orders.

When asked to rank the biggest pains with deliveries in order of importance, contacting customer services for information came out top. This was followed by a lack of convenient delivery options, and inaccurate delivery tracking that contained confusing language. Finally, frustration of changes to their delivery without being told and a lack of delivery information and progress updates, were selected as pain points.

Other key findings include 57% of respondents saying that quick updates from a brand, and the offer of discount and/or a refund, would make up for the disappointment of delivery disruption. This follows a staggering 97% of consumers stating that knowing where their delivery is, is important, and 60% claiming it is ‘very important’.

The need for unparalleled delivery visibility

The research also revealed a real hunger for proactive communications and delivery visibility for consumers, and demonstrates the damaging impact that incorrect or uncoordinated email, SMS, app notifications and other digital communications are having on brand loyalty. Brands have somewhat underestimated the consumer need for true visibility across the entire delivery journey. Uncoordinated delivery updates between brand and third-party courier are also driving this frustration, damaging the overall brand experience that retailers are trying to instill across the entire ‘purchase to delivery’ journey.

When it comes to receiving deliveries, 76% said that knowing they had a delivery arriving that day made them feel happy and excited. And, when it comes to what they value most regarding their delivery experience, easy to access and accurate tracking timelines being available online was the most important aspect. This is followed by: receiving delivery updates from the retailer in their digital channel of choice (email, SMS, app, social); having a choice of convenient delivery options; and having regular, accurate delivery updates directly from the retailer (e.g. “your delivery is delayed”).

David Grimes, Founder of Sorted, commented: “As the retail sector continues to undergo significant change, this research has made clear that customers are often abandoned as soon as they’ve clicked the ‘buy’ button. Retailers are missing out on the huge opportunity to extend their brand experience right to the very moment a customer’s order reaches their door.”

Grimes continued: “With the opportunity for proactive delivery communications, branded post-purchase tracking, and status updates available in a retailer’s tone of voice, customers are no longer wanting to be subject to impersonal third-party couriers. This also goes for mixed messages that come independently from both brand and courier. Delivery is a major factor which can differentiate brands in an increasingly competitive landscape – one that’s set to come under increasing pressure and customer demand as we enter the peak trading period of 2021.”