A new online survey by YouGov of 2,024 British shoppers gives online retailers plenty to think about just as their busiest period of the year approaches.
Commissioned by post-purchase communication experts parcelLab, the study reveals that although 49% of people now do at least half their Christmas shopping online, 44% say the experience is worse during the festive period compared to the rest of the year.
Millennials come out as the biggest online Christmas shoppers, with 62% of 25 to 34 year-olds surveyed doing at least half of their festive buying over the internet, with over a third purchasing at least 75%.
However, 11% of respondents in this group believe their experience is better at Christmas than during the rest of the year, compared with 8% of all online shoppers.
The most prevalent of a number of key issues for retailers to bear in mind highlighted by the survey is length of delivery time. Some 34% of respondents cited this as a key problem, more than any other issue, with 56% of Brits saying delivery takes at least one day longer at Christmas, and 28% reporting it takes at least three days longer.
Out-of-stock items (31%), late delivery (28%) and poor post-purchase communication (14%) and tracking (11%) were also reported as problems experienced by online shoppers.
“The proportion of Christmas shopping that people are doing online in the UK is great news for retailers; not so much the experience they are delivering, particularly post-purchase,” said Julian Krenge, CTO at parcelLab.
“These days consumers have so much choice that retailers who disappoint during the shipping period are likely to lose customers to those that offer a better experience. This is underlined by the fact that 86% of online shoppers say a bad experience would affect their view of a retailer according to a Retail Week survey.”
“We’ve also found that delivering a good post purchase experience in terms of keeping shoppers well informed and providing useful information results in between 75% and 80% returning to a retailer’s website, with at least 1% buying again immediately,” added Krenge.