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In 2013, 83% of retailers gave customers a choice of home delivery options, though less than half (47%) of retailers offered three or more services.

Micros has released its 2014 Multichannel Retail Delivery Report, in which 239 retail websites were tested for their delivery flexibility, customer service and delivery performance.

Here we’ll be taking a specific look at the range of delivery options available from retail websites and how they compare year-on-year.

The number of retailers offering a range of delivery options has only increased a slight amount from 79% in 2012 to 83%.

Frankly I find it baffling that the percentage isn’t higher. This means that 17% of retail websites are only offering a single option for delivery.

According to our own Multichannel retail survey, 50% of respondents have abandoned a purchase online due to unsatisfactory delivery options. This is a staggering amount and speaks volumes about our expectations from multichannel retailers in terms of delivery.

As you can see from the chart below, most people need to know exactly when their delivery will arrive. Clearly a fixed date is the most convenient option, even more so than same day or next day delivery.

Just knowing for definite when a package will arrive tops speed of delivery.

Customers are willing to pay for premium, trackable delivery services that are guaranteed to arrive on a set date. Therefore any companies that offer multiple delivery options will likely see any additional costs swallowed by the improvement in conversion rates.

However, 27% of retailers are now offering four or more delivery options compared to 20% last year, so this is an encouraging sign of growth.

Delivery options - stats

  • Next-day home delivery: 72% of retailers offered this to customers, up from 68% last year.
  • Nominated day delivery: 24% of retailers supported this, only very slightly up from 23% last year.
  • Saturday delivery: a substantial increase, with 42% offering the weekend service, compared to 33% last year.
  • Same-day delivery: has remained static year-on-year, with 7% of retailers offering this as an option.

Click-and-collect

The ability to purchase an item online in order to pick it up later in-store has seen encouraging growth in 2013. 43.5% of retailers now offer the service, up from 32% in the previous year.

However only 7.5% of retailers offer the ability to reserve-and-collect. According to our own report 79% of consumers have used reserve and collect in the last year.

Reserve-and-collect is an important sales tool in multichannel retail that offers customers peace of mind as they know the product is waiting for them in-store and stops any time-wasting or disappointment.

Perhaps the levels of trust on behalf of the retailer in terms of whether the customer actually comes in for the product or not need to improve before we see this service being offered more widely.

Graham Charlton takes a look at some specific examples of delivery options available from retail websites in his article ecommerce delivery: what customers want and what can retailers do to improve online delivery.

Christopher Ratcliff

Published 28 January, 2014 by Christopher Ratcliff

Christopher Ratcliff is the editor of Methods Unsound. He was the Deputy Editor of Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

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Comments (1)

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Ed Mandell

Excellent article, I personally wasn't aware that so many ecommerce websites were offering more than one option for home delivery.

As you say click-and-collect seems to be growing but for the smaller retailer it's not often a viable option

over 2 years ago

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