Missed deliveries to cost UK businesses £132m this Christmas

Missed deliveries will cost online UK businesses £132.5m this Christmas, according to the latest e-commerce research. The cost is attributed to the price of replacing and redirecting poorly addressed parcels, “not at home” delivery, and late packages which result in the loss of repeat business from disgruntled customers.

The findings have been drawn from studies carried out by Postcode Anywhere and Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG) earlier this year.

Postcode Anywhere managing director Guy Mucklow said: “It is taken as a fact of life that goods go astray in the order and fulfilment process. But for the hundreds of thousands of consumers who lose their orders, this is simply unacceptable – and at Christmas, doubly so.

“Our studies show this will translate into direct costs for online businesses this festive season. By improving procedures across the whole ordering process, from sign-up to check-out, ecommerce vendors can save a considerable sum of money, while improving their online reputation and retaining the customers they already have.

“At one extreme of the fulfilment chain, processes could be improved by ensuring goods are delivered by a company offering guaranteed delivery slots. At the other, it could mean revising the online checkout so address details can be captured accurately, using tools such as address auto-fill.

“Despite our sophisticated postal system, incorrect addresses are still a huge problem in the UK. Consider that missing just one letter in a postcode could be the difference between, for example, a Manchester and a Milton Keynes address. That’s a wasted 300-mile round trip for the courier and over a week’s delay for the customer – annoying at the best of times, and unacceptable for a last-minute Christmas gift.

“Although mistyped data is often the ‘fault’ of the consumer, it is up to the e-commerce vendor to make sure they collect an accurate address, because they bear a responsibility to their customers along with the cost of replacement or redirection if things go wrong.

“By our estimations, UK ecommerce will lose £2m on Christmas Day alone, simply because of missing postcodes or incorrectly captured addresses.”

Mucklow claims that address auto-fill and validation tools from suppliers, such as Postcode Anywhere, can help eradicate these problems before the customer has even completed their order.

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