Just 3% of consumers want same-day delivery and delivery-to-home remains the preferred option despite self-service alternatives offered by suppliers

NetDespatch, the leading SaaS parcel data management platform for postal and parcel carriers, today released the results of its 2019 UK Delivery Report, based on a survey of 2013 UK adults who had received deliveries in the past six months.

The survey, carried out by independent research organisation Opinion Matters, examined consumer sentiment around parcel delivery choices, exploring what consumers want from a positive delivery experience and what suppliers actually deliver. It found that, while having a predicted delivery slot and timely order and delivery confirmation are important to UK consumers, just three per cent say that same-day delivery is a must-have, while almost half have no desire to use additional self-service options offered by retailers. 

Key findings from the surveyed UK consumers include:

  • Delivery speed – 3% of respondents said that they  want same-day delivery, 29% say next day delivery is usually sufficient while 62% are happy with 2-5 day delivery stating it is usually ok
  • 48% are not in favour of more self-service options
  • 82% prefer goods to be delivered to their home address
  • 41% will not order from a supplier that does not offer their preferred delivery option
  • Half of respondents have no preferred carrier on the basis of delivery options. For 24%, Royal Mail is the carrier of choice

Same-day speed is not a delivery panacea

Commenting on the figures, Matthew Robertson, co-CEO of NetDespatch said: “The results expose the myth that consumers want ever-faster deliveries and multiple self-service delivery options. This should be a welcome reality check that what customers primarily want is to know that their order has been successfully taken and delivered, and when they can expect their parcel.”

Asked what makes a positive delivery experience, 96% of respondents said order confirmations were fairly or very important, 91% valued a predicted delivery window and 92% said delivery confirmations were fairly or very important.

Less value was placed on options such as in-flight redelivery, which 46% said was not at all or not very important to them. Similarly, 48% said they were not in favour of more self-service options, despite this having been an area of significant recent investment for retailers and carriers.

Home delivery remains the most popular option

82% of respondents prefer to have parcels delivered to their home address when delivering to their home. Delivery to the workplace is the preferred option for just 10% of respondents. 25% said they preferred having items delivered to a safe place, while 24% would rather have parcels delivered to neighbours.

Despite these preferences, respondents said that suppliers don’t always offer the basic delivery options they would like (59%) sited at least one preference which suppliers do not offer. This is a risk, as 41% said they will not order from a supplier that doesn’t give them the delivery options they prefer.

More than a quarter (26%) of respondents with a preference regarding delivery options when ordering goods to their home said suppliers didn’t offer convenient delivery at a time they would be at home. This was particularly a problem for those who work full time either at home or away from home, 29% of whom said this was their preferred option but was not always offered by suppliers. 10% said suppliers didn’t offer a ‘leave with a neighbour’ option, while 12% said some suppliers didn’t offer delivery to a nominated safe space.

When it comes to missed deliveries, 52% of respondents who had been not been at the delivery location then their delivery arrived said that carriers did not fulfil their preferred options for a missed delivery.

Matthew Robertson continued: “In the light of these consumer preferences the question is whether, by focusing obsessively on delivery speed and offering more and more out-of-home options, the industry is unnecessarily setting itself up to fail? Our survey indicates that UK consumers prefer straightforward delivery-to-home in a one to five-day timeframe at a time that suits them. They want an accurate service that tells them when to expect their delivery. They are not looking for alternative options such as parcel locker or in-boot delivery. These have become red herrings that distract from what the customer really wants from parcel delivery.”

Among the surveyed consumers, half had no preference for which carrier was used. Royal Mail was the most popular, chosen by 24% on the basis of its delivery options. DPD was next most popular, selected by just over 10%. No other carrier ranked higher than 8% with consumers. Matthew Robertson comments: “This general lack of carrier loyalty means there’s an opportunity for a carrier that really listens to customer preferences and offers them the delivery service they actually want to come in and make a name for themselves – no gimmicks, just good, predictable service.”