‘Customers want control over deliveries’, says expert

Consumers are looking for convenience as well as control over their parcel deliveries, new research has revealed.

The study, The Tipping Point: Parcel Delivery, commissioned by parcel management platform NetDespatch, found that 78 per cent of consumers were choosing alternative delivery options for their goods, such as lockers, convenience stores, a post office or click and collect.

Only 22 per cent said that delivery to a home or work address was the only delivery option they would consider.

When it came to online shopping, convenience outweighed price, with 47 per cent of respondents stating that being able to shop when they wanted, and not when a shop was open, was a top priority. While 38 per cent said that not having to visit a physical store was a key priority. Price came in at number three.

However, the type of purchase significantly influenced the amount of time people were willing to wait for a delivery, with distress purchasers being the most impatient and 58 per cent expecting a parcel to be delivered the same day or within one day.

On simple ‘need’ purchases, 31.5 per cent of consumers were willing to wait two days. With ‘really want’ purchasers, 81 per cent said they would wait more than two days and anything up to eight days. For purchases classed as ‘nice to have’, 60 per cent of buyers were happy to wait more than four days and one sixth were willing to wait eight days or more.

Interestingly, 88 per cent said they would be prepared to pay for a one- or two-day parcel delivery service.

“The results from the survey clearly highlight how important convenience is to online shoppers, more important than price in many cases,” said Matthew Robertson, co-chief executive of NetDespatch.

“They are willing to pay more to have greater control over the delivery time frame. The million-dollar question is, how much? Our survey shows that this most definitely depends on the type of purchase.”

When it came to the ‘dream’ delivery experience, it was all about visibility and control, with 82 per cent of respondents ranking the ability to track their parcel online as key. Seventy per cent said they wanted an exact window for delivery and 65 per cent wanted to be notified of the steps in the delivery journey.

Mr Robertson concluded: “Visibility, control and being kept informed of the steps in the delivery journey are clearly key factors in making that delivery experience a dream. In order to achieve this, retailers and carriers need to be agile, they need technology and data to deliver that information, and they need a seamless process that enables parcels to glide out the door to the consumer.”