E-commerce consumers are growing ever-more demanding, challenging manufacturers, retailers, and third party logistics providers (3PLs) to meet their expectations for speed and convenience in shipping orders to their homes, according to market research from supply chain technology provider Koerber.
Delays in fulfilling online orders can increasingly drive customer dissatisfaction and affect their brand decisions, the German firm found in its “2023 State of Shipping and Returns Survey.”
To measure the extent of the problems that sellers face in a competitive marketplace, Koerber asked shoppers about their post-purchase experience between the moment they click the “buy” button and when the product reaches their doorstep.
The results showed that a significant number of consumers (70%) experienced shipping delays without any reason provided for the delay (35%). Faced with that experience, 90% of respondents said they are less likely to buy from a brand again after a poor online shopping experience, while 29% say they are increasingly willing to share a negative review online.
The numbers come from a survey of 2,200 consumers across eight global regions—the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, Germany, France, and the UK—performed in February.
“Customer expectations have only grown more complicated post-COVID,” Chad Collins, CEO Software at Körber Business Area Supply Chain, said in a release. “Körber’s latest research reveals that a good shopping experience can make a loyal customer for life. On the contrary, a poor experience can leave a wake of destruction. The importance of a frictionless customer experience cannot be emphasized enough. Brands need seamlessly integrated technologies to overcome these challenges and ensure that consumer expectations are met.”
The research revealed that businesses have an opportunity to enhance shipping visibility and accountability to help avoid unexpected delays. According to the survey, 38% of consumers were not offered any compensation, refund, or discounts on their recent delayed order, yet 83% indicated that is important to them.
So when delays invariably occur, online sellers should have a plan in place for customer communication to update expectations and provide potential appeasement to create customer loyalty, Koerber said.