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Online delays afflict M&S customers

09 December 2014 - 13:30 by David Aiken

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An issue at a distribution centre used by Marks and Spencer has led to the retailer extending its delivery estimate for goods ordered via safe shopping online, according to the Guardian.

This comes at a point in the year when the infrastructures upon which retailers rely to fulfil e-commerce orders are pushed to their limits, so it is no surprise that such a delay occurred, merely that it was M&S that encountered an issue before any of its rivals.

Reports suggest that some customers are having to wait up to 2 weeks extra on top of their original delivery time to receive products, while those who had paid extra for next day delivery are receiving their goods two or three working days later.

Of course, it is worth pointing out that, so far, M&S is not the only UK retailer to have to delay customers, as they attempt to get access to the products they need ahead of Christmas. Tesco was accused of poor handling of its click & collect service, with people queuing to get their shopping rather than benefiting from a smooth experience.

Consumers may well be frustrated by delayed deliveries and queues at collection points, but this kind of thing is inevitable during the festive season and is only the digital equivalent of having to fight through crowds of people on the high street, in a time before safe shopping online was widespread.

The distribution centre with which M&S has experienced problems was only opened last year, although the retailer actually underestimated the number of people who would sign up to use its revamped e-commerce site and has, thus, been swamped by orders in the past couple of weeks.

Online shopping is still an emerging trend and it will be some time before retailers adapt to follow its ebbs and flows.