UK shoppers are spending GBP 136 per household each year on delivery charges, but are happy to do so to shop conveniently via the web, according to a new study.
The research commissioned by navigation technology specialist Trimble surveyed 1,000 UK adults, extrapolating from their answers that the UK’s 26m households would be spending around GBP 3,523m a year on delivery charges.
The study suggested that with rising petrol costs, the potential for a bargain through the Internet, and the ease of ordering straight from the sofa, UK shoppers believe an average GBP 2.99 charge on home delivery is worth the cost.
A quarter of UK adults believe delivery charges are too high, however, but 40% of those surveyed were willing to pay for next-day delivery, 22% would pay to ensure a two-hour delivery window and almost three in four respondents said fast delivery was key to shopping online.
The Trimble study also said paying a delivery charge set the expectation among shoppers for a quality delivery service
Some of the biggest complaints in the survey were missed collections that saw parcels returned to a post office or depot, cited by 30% of those surveyed, high delivery costs (29%) and long delivery times (20%).
In the current difficult economic conditions, high fuel prices and parking fees are encouraging householders to stay home to shop.
Crowded brick-and-mortar retail facilities and busy lifestyles were cited by shoppers as key reasons for abandoning the high street, along with the convenience factor.
In its research, US company Trimble said two thirds of those surveyed said they were buying more through the Internet now than five years ago, with 88.9% saying they expected to buy even more online in the next five years.
The company, which has its UK office in Hook, Hampshire, said a fifth of those surveyed suggested they’d do most of their shopping online if they could.
Mark Forrest, general manager of Trimble’s Field Service Management Division, said that the online era was “here to stay” in retail, and that retailers had a big chance to improve their brand recognition and leapfrog the competition by providing a good service.
“Effective delivery is critical to a positive service experience, but the study shows that many companies are not meeting their customers’ needs,” said Forrest.
“The key is keeping commitments; making ones that the company can keep and then ensuring the customer is informed along the way.”