nShift: IMRG study uncovers the three Cs of ecommerce deliveries in 2024

The Consumer Home Delivery Report, sponsored by nShift, examines the influential trends and sentiment relating to the post-purchase shopping experience

Almost 60% of shoppers said a good delivery experience has directly encouraged them to purchase again, according to a new report by IMRG.

The Consumer Home Delivery Report, sponsored by nShift, examines every aspect of the delivery and returns experience for shoppers. It covers a range of topics from cart abandonment to delivery expectations and returns preferences. It concludes that consumers today benchmark the quality of their post-purchase shopping experience on three distinct factors:

  1. Convenience – A range of ecommerce delivery choices that are convenient for consumers is vital. For over half (54%) of the respondents, a key concern is missing attempted deliveries while they are out. Meanwhile, 64% agreed that the ability to choose a specific day for delivery is very important
  2. Clarity – Nearly three quarters (74%) of consumers expect to see clear delivery and returns information prior to ordering
  3. Communication – 80% of shoppers want access to online order tracking. When asked about what would improve the returns experience, 87% of those questioned said getting confirmation that their return parcel has been received was most important to them

Sean Sherwin-Smith, Product Director Post-Purchase at nShift, said: “Customers need to feel as though they’re in control, as from the moment they part with their money, until the delivery arrives, often choosing to stick with the brands that provide the best experience. In today’s digital era, expectations are higher than ever when it comes to the online shopping experiences, and it is no surprise that shoppers crave clarity, communication, and convenience at every stage.”

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Andy Mulcahy, Strategy & Insight Director at IMRG, said: “Each year the role of delivery and returns is becoming more important to customers. They want to know where their order is at all times and expect a seamless connection from the moment they hit the buy button to the time that they’re happy with the exchange.”

In the report, nShift offers five top tips for retailers when it comes to delivering the best possible post-purchase experience:

  1. Provide and clearly display a range of delivery options at checkout – some shoppers seek swift deliveries. For others, price is paramount. Offering a range of options at checkout increases conversions. But it’s essential that these options are clearly and intuitively badged
  2. Enable multi-carrier deliveries – during busy periods, it’s crucial that retailers ensure they can keep their promises. This is best achieved through relationships with multiple carrier companies and a book and print capability connecting them to the business
  3. Maximise delivery success – giving shoppers the opportunity to identify and choose alternative Out Of Home (OOH) collection options is a welcome alternative to having to wait at home for a delivery. Parcel shops, parcel lockers and stores themselves offer shoppers a more substantial choice
  4. Keep in touch – relevant communication keeps the customer engaged and helps contain any negative feedback. If a retailer distributes communication in their own look and feel, it helps build the brand at a time when shoppers are most engaged. This makes it easier to remarket to shoppers
  5. Make returns easy – countless consumers simply won’t complete their purchase if it’s not clear how they can return a product. Operating a simple digital returns process gives shoppers confidence in the brand. It also makes it easier for the retailer to track patterns and work out why items are being sent back. This can reduce the volume of returns

Sherwin-Smith concluded: “Research shows that frequent shoppers are 2.5 times more likely than occasional buyers to take their business elsewhere when something goes wrong with the delivery. This means that when the delivery experience falls short, a retailer’s best customers are the most likely to shop around. But a great customer experience at each stage of the delivery journey can encourage repeat purchase.”

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