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Online retailers need to up their delivery & returns services game, survey finds

By Sara Barker
Wed 24 Aug 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Australian online retailers need to pick up their game and start improving their delivery service or risk losing customers, according to delivery solutions provider Blackbay.

The company conducted a consumer delivery report in conjunction with MeeMeep, a startup delivery company. The survey found that of the 1212 respondents, 17% said parcel delivery met their time and damage expectations, but conversely 89% are satisfied.

“This conflicting statistic shows there is confusion as to what makes a good delivery experience. Customers seem to accept that mediocre services are the norm, which provides a clear opportunity for Australian online retailers to differentiate themselves by providing a far superior delivery experience. Currently, Australian online retailers are failing their customers when they could be doing so much more," says Nigel Doust, Blackbay CEO.

The survey found another conundrum: Globally, 85% of people want home delivery, but 32% generally aren't home to receive them.

“Currently, Australian consumers appear to be unaware of the enhanced delivery options offered in other regions. This report clearly shows that there is a demand for dramatically better delivery experiences than Australians tolerate today," says Justin Williams, MeeMeep CEO.

The company says that many retailers don't see beyond the 'click to buy' button and instead focus on getting the sale rather than on delivery, where brand perception and preference is often a defining process for customers.

Other results from the UK found that customers believe having a simple returns system is also important and 61% of respondents were satisfied with their returns service. Blackbay teamed with IMRG to conduct the survey.

“This is the 7th year Blackbay and IMRG have executed the report and each year the importance of an improved returns process increases,” Doust explains.

The company says that Australian retailers should see these results and take action on them by improving returns processes to enable quicker collection and refunds. This allows companies to resell the goods faster and customers to buy replacements.

“By giving consumers access to the same collection options as those offered for delivery, retailers can streamline customer experiences both in purchasing and returning goods. That’s a win-win situation," Doust explains.

The company believes that retail differentiation can be done through scalable delivery and returns to attract customers and strengthen brand perception.

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