E-stores log in to delivery guidelines

Industry charter stresses communication with customers

Online retailers can safeguard delivery of their products under a new trust scheme launched today. Improving delivery service

The Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG) unveiled the Internet Delivery Trust Mark which it hopes will unite consumers, merchants and transporters behind the task of resolving the problems of late or missing deliveries of online goods.

With many consumers complaining of vague delivery promises and the industry suffering significant losses from lost orders, IMRG said it is time to unite behind the problem before the UK’s 24-million online shoppers are deterred from buying via the web.

“Home delivery remains the Achilles’ heel of online shopping,” said James Roper, from IMRG. “When a delivery does go wrong, it can cause considerable stress, inconvenience and cost for all of the stakeholders involved.

“The IMRG Delivery Charter is a major industry initiative to unite all stakeholders behind the task of addressing issues and solving problems associated with home delivery to their mutual benefit.”

IMRG research shows that 80% of the UK’s 100 prominent online retailers do not enable their customers to provide delivery instructions.

Nearly half offer no delivery time options, and three quarters preclude their customers from choosing a delivery date or weekend more suitable to their schedules.

Roper said the Charter will establish minimum commitments for all parties involved in a transaction and encourage clearer communication between stakeholders.

The study also found that buyers are unaware that most online retail deliveries are too large to fit through a letterbox, accounting for 20% of first-time deliveries to fail. This often results in parcels being returned to the transporter’s depot for redelivery or collection, an operation cost that is largely superfluous.

“Our research to date indicates that up to 50% of merchants’ distribution budgets could be recovered from avoided costs and increased revenues by simply using enhanced solutions that already exist and by better explaining delivery options to their customers,” said Andrew Starkey, from IMRG.

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