ASOS, House of Fraser, Debenhams... These are just some of the big retail names we’ve seen weaken under the pressure of the retail downturn. As retailers try to cut costs and attract more customers, more emphasis should go on customer experience, and not just low prices. In this blog, we will show that delivery is a key component of the retail experience. By exploring the customer feedback of a sample of retail brands from Trustpilot (Dune, Kurt Geiger, Office, Foot Asylum, Foot Locker and JD Sports), we will also explore what separates a good delivery experience from a negative one.
Data and Evaluation Methodology
Using state-of-the-art Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques, Senti (our AI-analyst) has read over 300,000 customer reviews; understanding the topics that are important to consumers, and how they feel about them. From these insights, we can explore the delivery topics consumers care about the most, what irritates them, and what actions make them loyal to a company.
Does delivery really matter to customers?
For our select retail brands, delivery makes up, on average, 17% of a retailer’s review comments. For Foot Asylum, this rises to 29%.
Customers buy online for convenience and it follows that the delivery experience has to be convenient as well; particularly around the speed of delivery offered by retailers. Top themes customers also mention include not enough delivery options at the checkout, couriers missing delivery estimates and deliveries not being attempted. It’s also important for retailers to note that some customers will not buy with a retailer again after a bad delivery experience:
What makes a good delivery?
From our sample of retailers, we measured the retail brands’ satisfaction scores for delivery, in order of customer satisfaction:
Foot asylum has the highest customer satisfaction for delivery out of these select retailers. The main reason for this high score is delivery punctuality, with the majority of customers citing fast delivery as one of the main reasons they shop with Foot Asylum:
One customer also mentioned they had great communication with their delivery:
What makes a bad delivery?
When exploring why customers are unhappy with delivery from other retailers, there can be many more reasons to consider. Foot Locker and Kurt Geiger customers show flexibility and fast delivery are important for e-commerce.
Kurt Geiger has the lowest satisfaction score for delivery. First off, customers want a bigger variety of delivery options at checkout such as choosing a specific delivery date and the option to collect from a shop:
When customers are given estimates of when their delivery will arrive, they expect the delivery to meet this estimate. This is especially true when customers end up paying extra for next day or nominated day delivery but do not get this premium service:
Other issues Kurt Geiger has includes drivers saying they have attempted delivery when customers know they have not:
However not all deliveries go wrong for the same reasons. For Foot Locker, the main issues are slow delivery and customers wanting more flexible delivery options:
What about returns?
Customers order products online because they also expect that they can return products as easily as they can buy them. However, across our sample of retailers, there is extremely low satisfaction in this area as most customers experience disappointment in the slow processing of returns in retailer’s warehouses:
Fast, flexible delivery
A poor-performing courier has the ability to damage a retailer's online reputation, therefore retailers cannot ignore the cost of allowing poor delivery standards from providers. Those who are struggling with low satisfaction should look at what more their delivery partner could be doing; whether this is faster delivery or opening up more delivery options to customers.