Getting delivery data right in 2018

Moving the River Island website to the cloud has been one of many steps in our continuing digital transformation. We know that keeping shoppers on our site, and limiting cart abandonment rates, is largely dependent on us creating an optimised website where information can be easily accessed, from any device.

Still, after reading an article on the Retail Week website, it seems that delivery remains a key issue for many etailers. Chris Boaz, head of marketing at PCA Predict, says that a recent fall in bricks-and-mortar sales highlights just how important it is for brands to get the entire buying experience right, ensuring shoppers’ needs are met, particularly when it comes to delivery.

Boaz’s company conducted a study of over 300 retailers and found that 5.6% of online orders in the UK fail first time. What’s more concerning is the 73% of consumers who have been let down when an item they ordered was delayed or didn’t turn up.

The cost of delivery failure

Delivery failure happens when there is a breakdown somewhere in data entry, processing or the logistics supply chain. In many cases, the error lies with the customer incorrectly entering their details; however, just 9% were willing to accept this. A total 80% of brands admitted that their customers don’t realise it was their mistake that led to delivery failure.

Making data a success

Regardless of who’s to blame, delivery failure causes disgruntled customers, with retailers losing sales and business, and potentially having their reputation tarnished, as a result.

This is where website design and user experience comes in. A system can only act effectively if data is correctly entered. But, many consumers surveyed said that they had experienced issues with online checkouts – text fields were too short, the site didn’t recognise their address, or they were simply unable to locate their address from a drop down list.

Such issues have led to more and more retailers using address authentication technology, where consumers’ addresses are checked against a database of options, or else reformatting data-entry boxes to ensure correct submission.

However, while many retailers now carry out address verification in the hope of resolving delivery failure issues, just 19% ensure an address is correct after the order, with 12% leaving the task to the carriers.

Not guaranteeing the integrity of consumers’ delivery details at the point of order puts retailers at greater risk of delivery failure, reputational damage and soaring redelivery costs. Boaz concludes, This year, this is a headache everyone could do without.” 

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