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Snow damaged consumer confidence in online shopping

13 January 2011 - 23:07 by Graham Miller

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Millions of Brits sought safe shopping online in the run-up to Christmas as a means of getting all the gifts and food required to survive the festive season, but now a poll is suggesting that failed deliveries and other snow-related issues have led to faltering levels of trust in e-commerce firms.

A sixth of UK shoppers ordered at least one item online, which, subsequently, did not make it to their homes as a result of the poor weather hampering delivery attempts.

This is according to a study conducted by analyst firm Intersperience, which quizzed more than 1000 consumers and discovered that 17 per cent of those who used safe shopping online were disappointed by an undelivered gift, once the snow and ice had caused mayhem for travellers and delivery firms.

Eleven per cent of respondents said that even when they received deliveries, they were greeted with an incorrect item or an extra inclusion, which was not on their online shopping list.

Eighty-one per cent of those questioned said that they had bought products online in the weeks before Christmas and 25 per cent of this group said that because of delivery issues, they had held back and bought less from e-commerce firms for fear that they would end up without the goods they had ordered.

Intersperience spokesperson, Paul Hudson, said that as a result of the snow and the delivery problems it caused, it is clear that consumers lost faith in online retailers, thus placing smaller orders and potentially ceasing their interaction in the future, with the firms that let them down.

In spite of this survey, there is other evidence suggesting that online shopping was the hero of the festive period, picking up the slack where high street retailers had seen declining sales have an impact on profitability.