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Survey: Poor delivery experience spells trouble for retailers

Bad delivery can ruin customer relationships.

Retailers need to remember that delivery is an important aspect of the customer experience.

According to Last-Mile Delivery: Customer Perception Report 2022,” a new consumer survey conducted for mobile data capture technology provider Anyline by Researchscape, more than three-quarters (76%) of respondents said that an unacceptable delivery experience would strongly or somewhat affect their decision to order from that company again.

This number rises for each passing generation, with more than 81% of millennials responding they would think twice after a single poor delivery, and 86% of Generation Z shoppers saying bad delivery would have a negative impact on placing a repeat order.

Respondents cited several technologies they feel can provide the visibility and control over deliveries they desire, including:

  • GPS tracking  Almost all (96%) respondents indicated they would find GPS tracking useful when awaiting deliveries.
  • Centralized lockers  Centralized, automated pickup locations, such as lockers, are becoming a popular delivery option, with more than 78% of respondents finding them at least somewhat useful.
  • Autonomous delivery robots and drones  The introduction of robots in personal deliveries proved not as popular as more conventional options, as one-third of respondents considered them hardly useful or not at all useful. However, younger respondents viewed robot delivery options more favorably than older consumers, with 45% of Gen Z respondents considering autonomous delivery robots very or extremely useful, while 41% of millennials and 42% of Gen X respondents thinking the same of drone deliveries.

Other interesting findings include:

  • Almost nine in 10 (88%) of respondents said the ability to redirect a delivery would be either very useful or extremely useful.
  • Respondents have relied more on last-mile delivery in the last couple of years, with many purchasing items online that they would have previously bought only in person, including groceries (43%), home essentials (30%) and restaurant meals (29%).
  • Over four in 10 (44%) surveyed consumers say delivery timeframes are slower since the start of the pandemic. As well, more than two-thirds (68%) of respondents say they’ve encountered delivery delays.

A recent survey from Loqate demonstrates some of the fallout that can occur from a poor delivery experience. The survey indicates that 41% of consumer respondents place the blame for late deliveries on retailers. One in 10 will post a negative review on social media, with nearly all consumer respondents (93%) saying they read reviews before making a purchase. Just three negative reviews were reported to drive away nearly six in 10 potential customers.

“With the impressive growth of delivery volume since 2020, consumers’ expectations for control over their deliveries has also intensified,” said Lukas Kinigadner, CEO and founder, Anyline. “Our survey shows that businesses today can perhaps dial back their eagerness for investing in ‘futuristic’ delivery technology if they’re not consistently getting the basics of last-mile right. To meet consumers’ fundamental expectations for reliability and visibility, retailers and last-mile delivery companies should improve data quality and traceability by adopting mobile-scanning technology to provide real-time updates to all parties. Accurate data capture will be key to helping businesses overcome last-mile delivery challenges, deliver peace of mind and strengthen the customer’s experience of that delivery.”

The results in this report are from an online survey conducted by Researchscape International and commissioned by Anyline. The survey was fielded from Feb. 14 to 17, 2022; 1,015 U.S. consumers completed the survey. The responses are weighted to be representative of the overall population by eight demographics.

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