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Survey: Poor delivery performance drives away customers

online shopping holidays
Holiday shoppers will be satisfied by on-time deliveries.

Retailers that do not provide a satisfactory delivery experience pay a heavy price.

According to the new 2022 biennial consumer holiday survey from cloud-based voice and analytic supply chain solutions provider Voxware, 44% of surveyed U.S. consumers say that up to 10% of their orders arrive later than promised, and another 20% report experiencing late deliveries up to 25% of the time.

These botched deliveries have consequences. Two-thirds (65%) of respondents report that they will abandon shopping with a retailer altogether after two to three late deliveries. And eight in 10 (81%) say if a retailer sends an incorrect order two to three times, they will abandon shopping with that retailer altogether.

In addition, seven in 10 respondents say that they are likely to share a negative experience online when a purchase is late or incorrect. Seven percent will cancel an order after receiving an incorrect item instead of waiting for a retailer to send the correct item, more than double the 3% who said they would do so in 2020.

[Read more: Survey: Holiday shoppers keep eye on supply chain]

Six in 10 (61%) respondents admit to worrying that the holiday gifts they purchase online will have delivery delays. Six in 10 respondents also believe that products purchased online should arrive within two to four days of being ordered, assuming no expedited shipping was requested. In past years’ surveys, Voxware found that consumer delivery time expectations were more distributed across a range from same-day arrival to allowing more than a week’s shipping time.  

Returns management is also critical

The survey examined consumer attitudes toward online returns, finding:

  • When incorrect orders are received, 70% of respondents expect the order to be fixed and redelivered within three to four days, and 37% of respondents impacted by retailer errors expect some sort of compensation from the retailer.
  • Among respondents who returned a product due to retail error, 29% received an incorrect item a second time.

Holiday shopping trends

Voxware also asked consumers about various aspects of their holiday shopping plans. Interesting responses included:

  • 38% of respondents expect to purchase more gifts in stores than they did during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 40% said they will buy more than 75% of their holiday gifts online in 2022, slightly less than the 46% who were buying that much online in 2020.
  • 60% found that shopping online and picking up in stores during the pandemic was convenient and they will continue to shop for some of their holiday gifts this way.
  • Nearly 40 percent of respondents planned to have more than half of their shopping done by Cyber Monday, down from 48% in 2020. 
  • 56% of respondents report they are planning to purchase fewer gifts this year than they did the previous holiday season. Only 11% indicate they will be purchasing more gifts this year. 

The survey was conducted Oct. 26-27 using SurveyMonkey Audience and incorporated responses from U.S. residents 18 years and older.

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