Online Retailers still struggle to meet consumer expectations on delivery

The latest Operations and Logistics Report from IRUK maps how the UK’s leading retailers are giving customers the fulfilment choices they want and demand, while ensuring that service is delivered at a profit. The research, which analysed the range of delivery, collection and returns policies of the top 500 retailers in the UK, was also backed up by mystery shopping.

The findings showed that Schuh, Boots, House of Fraser, John Lewis, Superdry and Amazon ranked as the top performers in the retail industry.

The report highlighted that although nearly half of the top 500 UK retailers offer free returns, 75% of consumers also expect free delivery. And only 25% offered that option.

It was found that the elite retailers have transformed expectations. Martin Shaw, Lead Researcher at Internet Retailing said that “Fast delivery to a convenient point is now largely taken for granted and the boundaries are constantly being pushed with an innovative blend of new technology and old-style customer service. Even among mainstream retailers, there’s a surprising divergence in the number of delivery options on offer. Retailers see offering delivery options as a point of differentiation”

Sean McGee at Schuh, said: “You have to make sure that the cost of the parcel is reflected in the overall mathematics that you do when you try to work out that you’re making a profit, and you need to be happy with those costs.”

You can download the full report here.