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Online Retailers Criticised for Lack of Updates During Shipping Process

08 April 2019 - 10:12 by Paul Tissington

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Almost a third of the largest sites that offer safe shopping online to British consumers do not touch base with their customers in the period between an order being placed and the product arriving at its destination, according to a survey conducted by ParcelForce.

100 different e-commerce outlets were scrutinised as part of the study, with analysts finding that an alarming proportion of retailers fail to keep people in the loop about how their order is progressing. This can lead to uncertainty and confusion, which is clearly problematic in the event that high-value items are being delivered.

Just over a tenth of the sites that were put under the magnifying glass were found to be actively taking steps to ensure that customers are always up to date, with the vast majority instead relying upon third-party delivery firms to take care of this aspect of the process.

Of the large number of retailers examined, just four were able to give customers access to information that was tailored to their specific delivery rather than being comparatively generic.

The study also uncovered the fact that same-day delivery is a rarity amongst retailers operating via safe shopping online in the UK. Just seven sites provided this speedy shipping option at checkout, but they also required a hefty fee for such deliveries.

In terms of the retailers that do manage to offer a lot more delivery capabilities than their rivals, New Look came out on top, in part due to its comprehensive returns policy. ASOS was singled out for offering a particularly compelling checkout experience, and Zara walked away with the prize for best delivery.

Delivery is one of the most important parts of online shopping, and researchers have shown that there is a need for better communication as a bare minimum.