Retailers have some leeway with delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic, but they need to maintain communication.
According to a survey of more than 1,000 consumers from delivery experience management software provider Convey Inc., nearly all (96%) respondents are willing to give retailers more time to deliver items. And 60% of respondents don’t expect retailers to have all of the items they want in stock during the coronavirus outbreak.
This includes 60% willing to wait an extra three to four days for delivery, while 19% were comfortable with five to six days and 17% said more than seven days is acceptable.
However, shoppers also expect more proactive communication, with potentially steep consequences for a lack of transparency. Nearly 70% of respondents said they want more communication, not less, during times of stress and uncertainty. Almost nine in 10 respondents (86%) said it’s important or very important for retailers to say when an item will arrive.
Respondents 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 that they are more likely to buy when this is the case. Seventy percent say they are less likely to shop with a retailer again if they are not informed in advance of a delay.
Other key findings include:
• 87% of overall respondents say it’s important or very important to support local retailers; 79% of millennials ages 18 to 29 say the same, although only 41% say it's “very important” compared to 54% overall.
• Despite widespread sentiment to support local retailers, a leading 81% of respondents are using Amazon during the COVID-19 outbreak, with mass merchants like Target and Walmart coming in second at 55%, followed by grocery chains with online services such as Whole Foods or Kroger (36%). Just 22% of shoppers said they were using local retailers with online stores.
• When asked what feature would entice them to shop online, all age groups agreed that free shipping was number one (64%), followed by the availability of purchase online for curbside pickup (58%), and providing an EDD prior to checkout (44%).