The Delivery Dilemma: Navigating Delivery Issues in the Holiday Season 

The onset of a ‘Digital Holiday’ marks a seismic shift in spending habits, with a substantial £202 billion set to be spent on online marketplaces. Amidst this shift, addressing what customers want becomes the mark of success. As 57% of shoppers are planning to funnel most of their purchases through digital channels, increasing the potential for delivery issues such as lost parcels, missing parcels, and the dreaded ‘failure to deliver’ scenarios. ShipEngine’s latest research, Peak Season Report 2023: Building a risk-resistant ecommerce strategy, sheds light on these delivery challenges and gives plenty of insights throughout.

Unraveling Delivery Preferences and Prioritizing Customer Needs

A customer’s wishlist extends beyond products to encompass the entire delivery journey – highlighting the criticality of order fulfillment and handling shipping issues and problems adeptly. The holiday season amplifies consumers’ demand for hassle-free delivery services, with a notable 78% of digital natives willing to pay additional charges for premium delivery. 

These insights underscore the urgency for online sellers to better understand how to prioritize customer needs and refine their strategies to address common delivery concerns during the Christmas season. ShipEngine’s Peak Season Report 2023 offers a glimpse into these trends, explaining how with the right knowledge, retailers can navigate delivery issues successfully and secure customer loyalty.

Closing the Delivery Expectation Gap

The gap between what customers want and what online sellers can deliver during the Christmas season is a prime concern in today’s e-commerce market. As retailers brace for the influx of holiday orders, they’re confronted with the stark reality of delivery issues that can tarnish the customer experience. While 74% of consumers plan to cut back spending, an overwhelming majority still prioritize swift and efficient delivery – underscoring a potential gap in merchant offerings. 

Retailers are often caught in a tug-of-war, managing operational challenges while striving to align with consumer demand for addressing shipping issues like lost parcels, missing parcels, or undelivered parcels, and a failure to deliver on these aspects can significantly impact customer loyalty. Online sellers need tactics that go beyond the surface to provide a deeper understanding of how to prioritize customers’ needs and mitigate the risk of failure to deliver.

The Peak Season Report by ShipEngine identifies late delivery as a primary concern for 40% of global consumers, highlighting the necessity of timely order fulfillment. Even more, 39% of shoppers feel the pinch of high shipping costs, and a significant 37% grapple with the anxiety of potentially stolen or missing parcels – a concern that can intensify amidst the festive flurry. So retailers face the critical task of planning against these shipping problems and delivery issues, and so the report offers a glimpse into strategies to mitigate these concerns, critical for aligning delivery services with what customers want.

Have a very Merry Shipping Experience

There’s a marked difference in delivery issues and priorities between consumers and merchants that becomes especially pronounced during the festive period. For instance, while 15% of consumers emphasize flexible returns, merchants seem to underestimate the importance of this when shopping online, pointing to a potential oversight in aligning services with customer needs. Additionally, the convenience of delivery, including factors like location and timing, is highly valued by 18% of consumers, as opposed to 12% of retailers, highlighting another area where companies may be undervaluing its importance and missing an opportunity to differentiate themselves.

Such insights indicate that consumers are placing greater value on aspects such as delivery visibility and tracking, which 15% of consumers prioritize during the peak season. Retailers are thus encouraged to consider incorporating a blend of delivery options, potentially introducing charges for premium services that guarantee speed, convenience and visibility.

It’s also worth noting that during the holiday season that free shipping incentives can be leveraged, as highlighted by Deloitte which says 8 in 10 people are willing to meet a minimum purchase threshold for free shipping. To navigate these pressures, ShipEngine suggests that online sellers must fine-tune their shipping tactics and carefully select their providers in order to meet expectations. Tools such as ShipEngine play a crucial role in optimizing operational workflows by offering seamless integration with over a hundred carriers worldwide. They facilitate the simplification of tasks like label generation, scheduling pickups, and adhering to compliance standards. This integration streamlines the shipping process, substantially reducing manual labour and improving precision, which contributes to a dependable and efficient shipping experience for both retailers and customers.

Be Guided Through Seasonal Challenges and Delivery Issues

Managing the holiday season successfully hinges on how well delivery issues are handled and general expectations are met. Peak Season Report 2023: Building a risk-resistant ecommerce strategy holds within its pages the strategies that resonate with today’s consumers, addressing their primary concerns like shipping costs, delivery speed, and the efficiency of order fulfillment, providing a path to navigate these challenges and maintain profitability amidst the festive season.

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