CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly
November 18, 2018
Forward Thinking

The cost of a failed delivery continues to rise, survey shows

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84 percent of shoppers are unlikely to return to a retailer after just one negative experience, Convey, Inc.'s third annual consumer expectations survey finds.

The cost of a failed delivery experience in the retail sector continues to rise, according to research released this week by logistics technology provider Convey, Inc., Austin TX.

Convey surveyed more than 1,500 shoppers as part of its third annual consumer expectations study and found that the majority link shipping with brand allegiance. Nearly all of the consumers surveyed (98 percent) said that shipping affects brand loyalty, and 84 percent said they are unlikely to return to a retailer after just one negative experience, a 34 percent increase from 2017, the company said.

The findings emphasize the importance of last-mile delivery in the fast-changing retail landscape, Convey executives said.

"Delivery expectations have clearly increased year-over-year as Amazon continues to raise the bar and customers take the bait," Kirsten Newbold-Knipp, chief marketing officer at Convey, said in a statement announcing the results of this year's survey, Last Mile Delivery: What Shoppers Want and How to #SaveRetail. "Today, simply tracking a package isn't enough. Retailers and brands that want to thrive need to invest in people, processes and tools that positively impact last mile delivery and customer loyalty."

Convey also said that a retailer's response to a negative situation can have a positive effect on repeat purchases. Consumers who cite previous delivery experiences as a key factor in their retailer selection are 60 percent more likely to return to a brand that has positively resolved a prior issue, according to the survey.

Other findings include:

  • Cost is king: 62 percent of shoppers cite cost as the most important factor in delivery;
  • Retailers must make good on failed deliveries: 87 percent of shoppers expect brands to make amends when they miss a delivery date, and 52 percent expect a refund or discount on shipping costs;
  • Scheduling and routing are critical: 55 percent of shoppers say they need to reschedule appointment windows at least 20 percent of the time, and 70 percent expect to be able to make some kind of routing change, whether to a new address, terminal or pick-up locker—a 41 percent increase from 2017;
  • Retailers should offer private feedback channels: 98 percent of shoppers say they want to self-serve or interact with a brand to resolve delivery issues, 89 percent want to provide feedback when they have a negative delivery experience, 42 percent cite email as their preferred channel for feedback, and 28 percent say they prefer customer service lines.

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