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UK consumers ‘experience emotional and physical pressure’ over delivery practices

A YouGov survey commissioned by Localz has shown that nearly 1 in 10 UK consumers are too scared to use the toilet when waiting for a delivery, for fear of missing it.

The findings from the inaugural 2018 ICurve Report explore the public’s concerns about the current state of last-mile delivery, highlighting the stresses and concerns consumers have as a result of online delivery and on-site utility services.

Among the highlights, 71% of respondents cited physical and emotional disturbance around delivery appointments. 40% of respondents felt stress and anxiety whilst they waited for a service or parcel delivery, 13% were forced to cancel social plans, 11% experienced disrupted sleep and 7% felt uncomfortable using the toilet.

According to the report, based on 2,000 respondents across the UK, 75% of overall respondents are available for delivery availability between 05:00, until 22:00. This extended window for deliveries is in contrast with the set up for typical delivery firms who typically operate between 07.30 and 19.30, a twelve hour window which still misses out on 42% of shopper-acceptable delivery times.

Not all delivery times are equal. Over half of those polled, 53%, want specific delivery slots which are the least disruptive to their personal life and 30% want those least disruptive to the worklife. 65% of respondents who work full time prefer delivery services between 18:00 – 20:00, meaning for this typically busy, and high-spending demographic, most existing delivery services do not work. Other report findings of interest to providers include:

  • 60% of respondents said they would like to be able to live track their delivery.

  • 86% mentioned they would rather communicate directly with the delivery person and have the liberty to change the delivery day and date.

  • 75% of consumers want to know exactly when to expect their parcel.

  • 36% of consumers today want the ability to change the location of their delivery, to a neighbour, work address, or similar, on the day.

  • 53% of respondents said the would greatly benefit if they had the opportunity to directly communicate with the delivery person.

  • 72% of respondents would rather be physically present or have someone else at home to oversee the delivery service person when receiving a delivery or service.

The report also revealed the darker ramifications of current delivery practices, specifically the effects deliveries have on consumers’ work-life balance and mental wellbeing. 32% of respondents who work full or part-time had to take official leave to wait for a delivery. Moreover, more than one in five said it cost them money as they could not go to work due to a service or parcel delivery. With 75% of the UK population currently in full or part time employment, having flexibility is becoming increasingly important.

‘Next day’ delivery considered most popular for the first time, says IMRG…

An overall growth rate of 18.2 per cent year-on-year was recorded in August in relation to the amount of online retail orders, according to recent data from the IMRG MetaPack UK Delivery Index; indicating that shopper confidence appears to be showing some resilience following the Brexit decision.

Since the EU referendum on June 23, the Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG) has tracked an increase in the percentage of orders moving cross-border – which the association claims is most likely down to a sharp fall in the valuation of GBP sterling – and the theme continued in the month of August as 27.8 per cent of orders made in the UK were sent to international destinations.

Furthermore, there was also a notable development in the delivery options that shoppers are selecting. For the first time since the Index’s inception, the percentage of orders using ‘next day’ (36.7 per cent) as the fulfilment option was higher than those using ‘economy’ (33.8 per cent). 

Head of e-logistics at IMRG, Andrew Starkey, said We’ve been tracking a general increase in the percentage of ‘next day’ orders for a while now, and in August it became the most popular option domestically for the first time.”

He continued: “There are a number of factors potentially influencing this – some retailers see delivery as a differentiator and are offering next day as standard, others offer it if the customer’s basket value is above a specific threshold and for others the charge for next day is smaller than it has been on average in previous years. A move toward faster delivery is not unexpected and, for carriers, it doesn’t represent a capacity issue during most of the year – but during peaks such as the Black Friday period, promotion of next day delivery should be handled more cautiously.”

The Index was created with the sole purpose of enabling e-tailers and industry professionals to track a wide range of key benchmark metrics, providing the capability of tracking trends and making informed strategic decisions.  

 

You can view the full IMRG MetaPack UK Delivery Index here