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Delivery time complaints are cause for concern for online retailers

25 July 2011 - 16:58 by Graham Miller

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In the UK we spend tens of billions of pounds via safe shopping online every six months but some are concerned that consumers still need to see improvements in the quality of the experience before they will commit a greater amount of their retail responsibilities to e-commerce firms.

A recent study by The Co-Op, found that of 3,000 respondents, around 90 per cent said that they were not satisfied by the delivery options available to them when using online shopping, with the main problem being that they were not able to pick a time during which a product could be delivered.

Sixty per cent of people who buy an item on the internet then have to get the help of a friend or family member in order to arrange a time for someone to be in during the day to take delivery of it, or else have to visit their local postage depot or parcel depository to collect the item.

It is estimated that, on average, a UK consumer will spend five days of the year waiting to take delivery of something they bought via safe shopping online. This is such a significant revelation that it could counteract the claims that e-commerce is more convenient and less time consuming than shopping on the high street.

A number of retailers already allow consumers to pick a time slot during which their delivery will arrive, with groceries most commonly delivered in this fashion. Marks & Spencer allows users who buy large items from their furniture selection to also allocate a time period for delivery, although this is not a typical feature.

Other surveys have shown that most consumers would prefer to allow deliveries in the evening hours rather than during the day, which along with this recent report, suggests that e-commerce firms need to improve their services to enable complete satisfaction.