The most common online delivery problems are…

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Late deliveries can cause damaging negative online reviews.

Consumers frequently encounter issues with deliveries of e-commerce purchases, and retailers can pay a price.

According to “SMB Shipping Pulse Check,” a recent survey of 1,000 online shoppers and 100 small-to-mid-sized business e-commerce decision-makers across the U.S., from UPS Capital, 71% of shopper respondents have contacted customer service due to shipping and/ or delivery issues regarding online orders.

The most common online delivery issues include late deliveries (39%), lost or stolen orders (36%), and damaged products (27%). Roughly half (51%) of shopper respondents are likely to leave a negative review on a retailer’s website if they are unsatisfied with the resolution of a shipping or delivery issue. And 91% of the surveyed online shoppers state that negative reviews influence their buying decisions.

Shopper respondents also indicated the customized delivery offerings they are most interested in:

  • Expedited delivery speed (52%).
  • Delivery date selection (51%).
  • Return options, such as in-store dropoff (45%).
  • Option to pick a specific delivery window (42%).
  • Local, secure delivery locations, such as retail stores (29%).
  • Required signature (22%).
  • Sustainable shipping (22%).

In addition, shopper respondents revealed their expectations when dealing with a delivery-related issue:

  • Resolve issues within two to three business days (49%).
  • Free, expedited shipping on lost or damaged orders (46%).
  • Replace stolen orders at no cost (42%).
  • Real-time tracking on late/reshipped orders (36%).
  • Store credit (26%).

The survey also found that about eight in 10 (79%) small-to-mid-sized business respondents agree that the shipping experience accounts for at least
half of the entire e-commerce customer experience. For these respondents, reliability of carriers (41%) and rising threats of porch piracy or package theft (26%) are among the top factors negatively impacting their business.

Delivery cost drives online purchase decisions

Forty-one percent of surveyed consumers say cost of delivery is the most important factor when buying online, up from 33% in 2022, according to “Protect Your Growth Strategy: the 2023 Consumer and Merchant Benchmark Report,” a global consumer and retailer survey conducted by Auctane, parent of ShipStation,

Six in 10 (61%) surveyed consumers say that they’re less likely to shop with a brand if shipping costs are high. On average, 34% of surveyed U.S. consumers expect packages to arrive in three to four days. Only 6% expect overnight delivery as the standard. Conversely, 72% of surveyed U.S. retailers are looking to cut shipping costs in order to grow in 2023.