Consumers Show Little Patience for Late Deliveries

“Hell hath no fury like a consumer with a late delivery,” could be the new mantra for today’s businesses.  After all, expectations for fast, on-time and free shipping have never been greater, with more than 55 percent of consumers expecting free shipping on all orders, and roughly 65 percent of retailers offering some type of free shipping.

But heaven help the retailer who signs on with a delivery company unable to make good on promises for guaranteed service, or even worse, makes an incorrect delivery.  A new survey by Voxware voice solutions provider, found nearly 30 percent of respondents said they would abandon shopping with a retailer if they receive an incorrect or late order just one time.

The survey, which asked 600 consumers about their delivery expectations for items purchased either online or by phone, found consumers are willing to cut retailers very little slack for failure to deliver as promised:

  • 62 percent of respondents are less likely to shop with a retailer in the future if an item they purchase is not delivered within two days of the date promised.
  • 59 percent said they would abandon future shopping with a retailer if they receive two to three late or incorrect deliveries.
  • 68 percent of respondents have higher expectations for correct and on-time deliveries during the holiday season.
  • 56 percent said that as much as 10 percent of the items they have ordered either over the Internet or by phone have arrived later than promised.

At least one major e-commerce retailer has recent experience with consumer ire over late packages.

Last summer the UK Guardian reported more than 5,000 angry consumers posted messages on the retailer’s website, demanding that one apparently inefficient delivery company be dropped.  Complaints ranged from inaccurate tracking information to poor customer service, to packages being left out in inclement weather, to orders that simply were not showing up as promised.

As the Vox survey – and this retail giant’s experience – make clear, consumers place a high premium on deliveries that are on time and correct.  A retailer can offer the best products in the world, or the best deals around, but if a logistics company fails to deliver those goods on time, then everything else is for naught.