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SURVEY: 21% of retailers’ deliveries fail

By Retail Technology | Monday April 29 2013

Industry poll reveals each delivery or appointment failure costs £151, while 43% say ‘lack of notification about delays’ are a problem

Over a fifth (21%) of all retailers’ deliveries and home appointments are unsuccessful, wasting millions of pounds in inefficiencies, according to research commissioned by business SMS experts, Esendex

The research carried out by Coleman Parkes Research included in-depth telephone interviews with 200 logistics and customer service decision makers at UK retailers, including 75 with an average revenue of £149 million, and found that each failed delivery or appointments costs £151, on average.

Administration and capacity challenges

The £151 cost of each missed delivery or appointment was attributed to an associated increase in admininstration and business process costs (25%), a lack of capacity utilisation (16%) and call centre overburden (10%), among others. Due to the financial impact caused by inefficiencies, 32% of retailers also said they were considering charging consumers for missed deliveries or appointments. 

Retailers revealed customer communications to be a major issue, with 43% citing ‘lack of notification about delays’ and 35% highlighting ‘lack of communication about delivery times’ as complaints associated with missed appointments and deliveries.

When asked what they were planning to do in the next 12 months to address the causes of the problem, 68% said they would introduce or improve on SMS communications. Interestingly, only 18% of companies are looking to social media in 2013/14 to improve customer communications.

Shift towards critical contact demands

Julian Hucker, co-founder and chief executive of Esendex, commented: “The latest ONS figures highlight that the weekly online spend is £601 million per week, up 20% on last year, so the impact of communications and supply chain inefficiencies will be keenly felt by those who ignore the problem. 

“We are seeing a shift in preference among companies who are moving towards text messaging in an effort to more easily reach customers at critical times during the transaction process. Most of us have had to wait in for a supermarket or furniture delivery at some point. We all have mobile phones, so texting is able to take that headache away and give businesses and customers a simple and reliable way to solve this issue. It’s not a new technology, but it’s the most widely available and therefore the most convenient for customers.”

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