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Online purchase experience is worse at Christmas, say British shoppers

Despite nearly half of British shoppers now doing at least half of their Christmas shopping online, 44% say the online delivery is worse during the festive season, according to a new survey commissioned by parcelLab.

The online survey by YouGov of 2,024 British shoppers gives online retailers plenty to think about just as their busiest period of the year approaches. Commissioned by post-purchase communication experts parcelLab, the study reveals that although 49% of people now do at least half their Christmas shopping online, 44% say the experience is worse during the festive period compared to the rest of the year.

Millennials come out as the biggest online Christmas shoppers, with 62% of 25 to 34 year-olds surveyed doing at least half of their festive buying over the internet, with over a third purchasing at least 75%. However, 11% of respondents in this group believe their experience is better at Christmas than during the rest of the year, compared with 8% of all online shoppers.

The most prevalent of a number of key issues for retailers to bear in mind highlighted by the survey is length of delivery time. Some 34% of respondents cited this as a key problem, more than any other issue, with 56% of Brits saying delivery takes at least one day longer at Christmas, and 28% reporting it takes at least three days longer.

Out-of-stock items (31%), late delivery (28%) and poor post-purchase communication (14%) and tracking (11%) were also reported as problems experienced by online shoppers.

“The proportion of Christmas shopping that people are doing online in the UK is great news for retailers; not so much the experience they are delivering, particularly post-purchase,” said Julian Krenge, CTO at parcelLab.

“These days consumers have so much choice that retailers who disappoint during the shipping period are likely to lose customers to those that offer a better experience. This is underlined by the fact that 86% of online shoppers say a bad experience would affect their view of a retailer, according to a Retail Week survey.

“We’ve also found that delivering a good post purchase experience in terms of keeping shoppers well informed and providing useful information results in between 75% and 80% returning to a retailer’s website,” added Krenge, “with at least 1% buying again immediately.”


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