People using mobile devices

Despite retailers recognising last mile convenience is an increasingly important consideration for online shoppers, many are failing to meet the levels of personalisation and flexibility connected consumers now expect, the latest research from Sorted, the delivery experience company, warns.

Original research of 2,000 UK adults revealed that 70% of consumers want more flexible delivery options to be made readily available and two-thirds (66%) agree that retailers and delivery companies should work more closely to make deliveries as smooth and successful as the rest of the shopping experience.

While almost half (46%) of shoppers said convenience and personalisation of fulfilment were key factors in online buying decisions – demonstrating the shifting expectations that delivery options should be built around consumers’ lifestyles – a quarter (27%) said they thought delivery was disconnected from the rest of the retail experience.

Indeed, lack of convenience accounted for 25% of all failed online deliveries, due to shoppers not being able to change delivery options once an item had been shipped, underpinning the impact of not mirroring the fast and flexible fulfilment options that customers now expect.

Almost a quarter (23%) said that more progressive, location-based delivery options would improve the delivery experience, through more convenient ‘to device deliveries’, where an order is delivered to a customer by geo-locating their smartphone, kerb side fulfilment using their car’s Bluetooth location or drone delivery.

David Grimes, CEO at Sorted, commented: “Retailers no longer govern industry progress or change – instead, it is now in the hands of the consumer.  Despite recent focuses on improving the delivery and fulfilment side of customer buying journeys, these findings highlight the worrying reality that shoppers are simply not satisfied with current levels of service.”continued: “And this should be a great concern to retailers, as shoppers won’t remain loyal to brands if they aren’t offered convenient, cheap and enjoyable experiences right the way through their purchasing journey.   For too long, delivery – the last point of interaction with the customer – has been inflexible and provided little value to the shopping experience.  By ignoring consumer demands, such as a desire for more delivery options, retailers risk losing customers to competitors who are adapting to the needs connected shoppers.”