ShipEngine and ShipStation (credit image/Pexels/RDNE Stock project)New research from shipping solutions provider ShipEngine and ShipStation reveals the extent of negative delivery experiences on customer loyalty. 78% of UK consumers say they are not likely to shop with a brand again following a below-par experience.

The ‘Exploring the Nuances in Ecommerce’ guide includes a survey of over 3,000 consumers and 600 online merchants across six markets. The research looks at the drivers and deterrents of consumer loyalty in eCommerce. It found that 71% of UK consumers rank ‘high shipping costs’ as the biggest barrier to becoming repeat customers.

The quality of delivery experience ranks as the third highest driver. 51% of UK consumers surveyed cited it as a key reason why they regularly buy online from the same brand. Only affordable prices and product quality rank higher for UK consumers. Merchants agree on the importance of product quality and delivery quality as customer retention drivers. However, they disagree on the topic of affordability, ranking it as only their fourth most important retention driver.

Blended buying

As eCommerce habits have evolved, the majority of consumers now take a hybrid approach to shopping. Almost three-quarters of UK consumers stated they shop both online and offline. The UK leads the way in omnichannel, having the highest concentration of blended shoppers, across the six markets surveyed.

Health & Beauty comes out on top when looking at eCommerce purchases. 65% of UK consumers have made an online purchase in this category over the past 12 months. DIY and Gardening are revealed to be the least popular, with 44% of consumers having bought a product in this category over the past year.

Impact of delivery options

When it comes to delivery options, consumers can be unforgiving. 85% of UK consumers say a lack of adequate delivery options influences whether they abandon their cart at online checkouts. Looking at this further, over 61% of consumers state they will sometimes abandon their cart. 23% indicate they will quite often or always abandon their cart if their desired delivery option is not offered.

(credit image/LinkedIn/Tom Forbes)
Tom Forbes, SVP of Enterprise Revenue at Auctane,

In contrast, over 26% of UK merchants surveyed believe a lack of delivery options offered at the checkout ‘never’ prevents consumers from finalising their purchase.

Tom Forbes, SVP of Enterprise Revenue at Auctane, ShipEngine and ShipStation’s operating group says, “In today’s age of overwhelming choice, it’s never been easier for consumers to switch where they buy from. Unsurprisingly, in this environment, it’s never been more difficult for retailers to retain customers.

“There is no one right approach when it comes to running a successful eCommerce business. But our new research highlights, the key is to understand how different consumers shop and where they shop. In addition to learn those consumers negotiables and non-negotiables. Only then can you get a clearer picture of how to turn potential consumers into repeat customers.

“As the online shopping experience has become synonymous with the delivery experience, consumer expectations have risen. Just one negative delivery experience can sour consumer perception of a brand. This can have a detrimental impact on their bottom line.

“The eCommerce market today will favour those who understand the opportunities. Furthermore, make the necessary investments in areas such as their delivery experience, omnichannel proposition and marketplaces. Those who don’t, will find life very difficult.”

Moving towards marketplaces

The research also highlights changing consumer channel preferences. It notes that marketplaces are becoming the most popular eCommerce medium to shop on across all the markets surveyed. Specifically, 51% of UK consumers prefer to buy on marketplaces vs 29% of consumers who prefer to buy directly on a brand’s website. 18% choose a brand’s mobile app. Additionally, the research reveals that social commerce is a growing industry. At present, only 2% of UK consumers consider it their preferred eCommerce buying channel.

Rising recommerce

More people are increasingly choosing to recycle and resell their unwanted items. Recommerce is a rapidly growing industry for consumers, retailers and marketplaces. The research reveals that 47% of UK consumers resell their old purchases/unused items on third-party platforms. With almost half of shoppers utilising recommerce channels, coupled with the increasing need for everyone to be more sustainable, this industry is here to stay. The report suggests there is ample opportunity for brands and marketplaces to invest in recommerce strategies. In addition to delivering experiences to meet growing consumer desire to effortlessly resell.

Enterprise Times: What this means for business

Essentially, brands and retailers must get into bed with their customers. They have to show them love and attention and build long-term customer relationships which demonstrate they understand their needs. This is vital to generate revenue, saving on acquisition costs and benefiting from satisfied consumers who will promote the brand. ShipEngine and ShipStation’s latest guide provides some useful advice to unlock the secrets to customer loyalty. Brands and retailers often forget about the last leg of the eCommerce journey – the delivery to the doorstep. Today’s consumers want faster, cheaper, and more transparent shipping practices, and they favour businesses that rise to the occasion. The report adequately reveals the negative impact of poor delivery experiences on consumer attitudes. The report documents some actionable insights on how to optimise the delivery processes. This is relevant for brands and retailers to provide customers with the experiences they desire. The ultimate aim is to increase conversion rates and secure loyalty.


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