Shoppers are forgiving when it comes to delivery in the time of coronavirus, but they expect clear communication from retail outlets on expected delivery dates, according to research from logistics technology firm Convey.
The April survey of 1,000 consumers revealed changing shopping behaviors and expectations in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, revealing data on a range of topics, including stockpiling, out-of-stock and delivery issues, supporting local retailers, and "free shipping" as a continued driving force in the growth of e-commerce. Among those results, an overwhelming majority of respondents (70%) said they expect transparency and clear communication from retailers during the coronavirus crisis.
"Our goal is to shed light on how consumer behavior is changing in light of Covid-19, as well as understand what shoppers expect from retailers," Kirsten Newbold-Knipp, Convey's chief growth officer, said in a statement releasing the survey's findings. "There are some bright spots, including that shoppers are willing to make concessions when it comes to in-stock items and delivery delays. Shoppers were also clear that transparency about delivery at every stage of the journey is crucial to keeping their trust."
The survey found that the majority of shoppers don't expect retailers to have all of the items they want in stock (60%), and virtually all shoppers are willing to give retailers more time to deliver items (94%). Sixty percent of respondents felt retailers deserved an extra three to four days for delivery, while 19% said they were comfortable with an extra five to six days. Seventeen percent said more than seven days is acceptable.
The survey also found that while shoppers are willing to give retailers some leeway when it comes to inventory and delivery times, in return they expect more proactive communication, with potentially steep consequences for a lack of transparency. Nearly 70% said they want more communication, not less, during times of stress and uncertainty. Nearly 9 in 10 shoppers (86%) said it's important or very important for retailers to say when an item will arrive. They also want the estimated delivery date (EDD) for an item to be shown on the product page or in the shopping cart, with 75% saying they are more likely to buy when this is the case. And while consumers are willing to give retailers more time for delivery, 70% say they are less likely to shop with a retailer again if they are not informed in advance of a delay.
The survey also found that: