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UK shopper discontent with online services increases

Customer dissatisfaction with home delivery and click-and-collect services has reached its highest point over the past three years, according to the latest figures from YouGov.

A survey of more than 2,000 shoppers found that 56% of adults in the UK encountered problems with an online order over the past 12 months, up from 53% in the previous year and 47% in 2015.

Of these, 42% experienced late parcel deliveries, while 37% claimed they had missed a delivery despite being at home at the allotted time.

A quarter of respondents said they had not received the requested item, while a similar number (24%) were given a damaged item.

The research found 78% would switch to another retailer if they have a poor online ordering experience.

The number of respondents experiencing issues with click-and-collect dipped marginally to 43% from 45% in 2016. Among these, 26% cited long waiting times as a result of poor staffing, while 18% said staff could not locate the requested items in store.

More than half (54%) of UK online shoppers used click-and-collect services in the past year, with nearly a quarter (23%) buying an additional item in-store when picking up an order.

The survey also highlighted that a third (33%) of online shoppers return up to two non-grocery items each year, with a quarter returning three or more.

A total of 38% said the main reason for returning an item was because it did not fit their expectations. This was followed by 32% of respondents making a return because of a faulty purchase.

Three-quarters (75%) of respondents said they would be willing to exceed a minimum order value to qualify for free delivery.

Additionally, 46% of respondents said they use mobile devices in stores, with 30% of these using them to compare prices online and 22% checking product reviews.

Separate research conducted by software company JDA and accounting firm PwC found that nearly three quarters of global CEOs reported profits at their businesses had been hit by customer returns.

The report showed that 62% of CEOs planned to raise minimum order thresholds in 2017, up from 39% in 2016. 

Readers' comments (1)

  • The irony is that however bad the service is with an online retailer, the consumer cannot get enough of them. The younger end of the market do not know what good service is and are prepared to put up with it was they think that is acceptable. Indies who provide excellent customer service are up against it with an increasing generation of consumers that couldn't give a damn.

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