Christmas cancelled for nearly a third of online shoppers
Nearly one in three (31 percent) British online Christmas shoppers experienced problems with their orders this Christmas, according to research conducted on behalf of JDA.
The survey revealed that of those shoppers that had encountered any of the problems listed: 49 percent had suffered from missed deliveries, while 45 percent had experienced late deliveries or never received their goods.
These figures highlight that during the especially important Christmas shopping period, many retailers fail to meet online customers’ expectations. This contrasts with research from the JDA Customer Pulse Report last year which revealed that only one in five consumers experienced problems over a 12 month period.
A significant number of online Christmas shoppers (39 percent) opted to use ‘Click & Collect' services this Christmas. Those that did cited avoiding delivery charges (61 percent) and the greater convenience offered (53 percent) as their biggest motivations. In fact, of those shoppers who used ‘Click & Collect’ services this Christmas, just over a third (34 percent) stated that they would use them more when Christmas shopping next year.
Interestingly, a quarter of online Christmas shoppers stated they chose to shop specifically with a retailer that offered ‘Click & Click' over one that solely offered home delivery.
Jason Shorrock, Retail Strategy Director at JDA, said: “Christmas 2014 was undoubtedly the year that online shoppers saw ‘Click & Collect’ as a viable alternative to home delivery. Shoppers want greater flexibility as to how and when they receive their online goods. But at the same time it is clear that home delivery reliability around the Christmas period remains something of a lottery.
“With growing numbers of consumers opting to shop with retailers that offer the option of Click & Collect, those that can ensure order fulfilment excellence will be ultimate winners. Indeed, our research shows that nearly one in five online shoppers surveyed used an alternative retailer this Christmas as a result of their preferred one not having items available or having delivery times that met their requirements.”
The research revealed that 40 percent of Click & Collect Christmas shoppers had a very positive experience of using such services over Christmas; however it also highlighted a number of areas where there was still room for improvement.
“The growth of online retail in the UK shows no sign of slowing down. At the same time customers' service expectations are greater than ever, meaning they will simply shop elsewhere if retailers fail to meet them. This in turn is placing greater strain on retailers’ supply chain capabilities, especially over the Christmas period when demand is at its highest,” added Shorrock.
Retail phenomena such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday have only further increased consumer demand, yet retailers still struggle to cope effectively with its implications. The Christmas shopping experience can often dictate a person's shopping habits for the next 12 months and beyond. At a time when margins remain squeezed, retailers need to ensure they are delivering a great experience both online and in store. Those that don’t will not have much to celebrate next Christmas.
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov, commissioned by JDA. Total sample size was 2,398 adults.
JDA is the leading provider of end-to-end, integrated retail and supply chain planning and execution solutions for more than 4,000 customers worldwide. For more information, please visit: www.jda.com