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Delivery frustrations cost online retailers billions in lost sales

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Retailers are “losing” up to £31.5 billion in online sales each year because of delivery-related “frustrations” when customers come to pay, research shows.

A report to be published this week has found that 24.8 per cent of attempted online purchases are abandoned by shoppers because of poor delivery choices, high delivery fees and slow delivery speeds.

The report, Battling Basket Abandonment, by GFS, a delivery company, and Retail Economics, a consultancy, says that 83 per cent of retailers believe they offer delivery options that meet customers’ needs, but only 48 per cent of consumers agreed.

Three in five retailers in the study offered express or next-day delivery and less than half provided nominated delivery or parcel pick-up points. Parcels left in insecure places, poor packaging and difficulties returning items were the top three “pain” points.

Richard Lim, chief executive at Retail Economics, said consumer expectations were “higher than ever before” and they showed “little tolerance” for brands unable to meet these levels.

“It’s clear that with such a high proportion of online baskets being left abandoned at the point of checkout, retailers need to prioritise offering a range of delivery options to suit their customers’ needs if they are to win.”

Bobbie Ttooulis, executive board member at GFS, said: “The research validates, and more importantly puts a value on, what we’ve always known to be true: that lack of delivery options results in lost sales at the checkout. In our experience, retailers are well aware of this, but struggle to overcome the internal costs and complexities.”

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