‘Delivery lottery’ plaguing internet retail industry

Millions of failed deliveries are costing internet retailers

The internet retail industry is being held back by millions of failed home deliveries, it has been claimed.

According to e-retailing industry body Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG), in the run up to Christmas 24m parcels from online retailers failed to be received by consumers upon first delivery, and 4m failed to be delivered at all.

IMRG says that half of the seven million annual complaints received by internet retailers are delivery related, costing the industry £682m in direct costs.

“It is completely unacceptable,” said IMRG chief executive, James Roper. “Anyone that shops online will be familiar with the failed delivery cards that come through the letterbox.

“If more than one card has come through, the consumer has no idea which product or retailer it relates too.”

Roper complained that the phone numbers on delivery cards often lead to unanswered phone lines so consumers have no way of arranging an alternative delivery time that suits them.

Roper said the current delivery system was ‘a complete lottery’, and internet retailers should offer a way for consumers to communicate delivery preferences at the time of order so that failed deliveries can be avoided.

According to IMRG, half of the UK population now does some of its shopping online, and the industry has grown 2600% over the last five years.

The industry is expected to double again by 2010. IMRG claim that if this figure is reached, internet shopping will then account for 20% of retail sales.

© Crimson Business Ltd. 2007

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