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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.

More retailers plan to install omnichannel solutions to combat lack of in-store technology…

According to a report from the Omnico Group surveying 31 UK retailers with more than 100 stores and two department stores under one brand, 32 per cent have stated that they plan on introducing in-store omnichannel capabilities, which will enable consumers to order an out of stock item from other company branches.

Despite a rise in sales via technology across the retail sector, only 13 per cent of retailers surveyed acquire the advanced in-store technology allowing consumers to take this action. The survey also found that 26 per cent plan to grant customers the accessibility of ordering online or from another store while shopping on one branch and, currently, 29 per cent provide the capability.

CEO at Omnico, Mel Taylor, said: “Retailers are now coming up with firm plans to invest in an omni-channel retail strategy as they know they must do more to meet the increasingly high expectations of the digitally-savvy, mobile customer. With the right solutions retailers can give a significant boost to their sales, knowing that by being able to say ‘Yes’ more often they can guarantee they will never lose another sale due to unavailability.”

Although recognising the current limitations of existing in-store technology, 33 per cent said that the biggest challenge in handling stock across channels is having an accurate view of available stock in all stores, followed by 20 per cent who cited having a ‘real-time’ or ‘near real-time’ update on their central stock file.