How are the UK’s top fashion retailers performing in the areas of checkout, shipping and returns? parcelLab’s UK E-Commerce Shipping Study 2020: Fashion Edition sheds light on customer experience throughout the buying journey.
The results from the study show that whilst the UK’s fashion retailers have invested heavily in the customer journey prior to checkout, customer centricity is forgotten once the customer purchases. Retailers are focusing on getting the parcels to the customer as cheaply and efficiently as possible, potentially at the detriment of their relationships with customers.
We’ve picked out the key findings from the research below. How can retailers improve? We’ve also included our recommendations on how the UK’s retailers can improve the customer journey and experience. You can download the full study here.
Key Findings and Recommendations
Key Finding #1:
12 retailers offer free shipping and another 65 offer free shipping with a minimum order value. Otherwise, the average amount is £4.46.
Shipping costs are one of the biggest conversion blockers. Retailers should therefore consider offering delivery passes to encourage customer loyalty.
Key Finding #2:
None of the retailers allow the customer to choose their logistics provider.
All consumers have a preferred delivery carrier. Therefore, by not providing customers with this choice, retailers are potentially adding unnecessary frustrations to the customer journey. Having this choice will help to avoid customer service enquiries from disgruntled customers further down the line.
Key Finding #3:
93 retailers end communication with the customer at dispatch, instead relying on the delivery carrier.
Customers are the most engaged during shipping so why do most retailers stop communicating with them? Retailers need to utilise this untapped marketing channel and take back control of their communication from the carriers.
Key Finding #4:
99 retailers do not send tailored shipping communications to the customer. Only one retailer sends personalised updates.
Retailers should be actively engaging with customers at this point through personalised, branded post-checkout communications. This is a prime stage in the customer journey to up-sell products in delivery communications. Currently only one retailer is doing this.
Key Finding #5:
51 retailers enclose a Royal Mail returns label, while 11 do not provide a label for returns at all. The most popular returns option is in-store, with 64 retailers offering this. 85 retailers allow customers to return goods free of charge.
Make returns as convenient as possible for the customer, with a variety of options. In-store should come as a standard returns option where possible.
Key Finding #6:
92 retailers refund the money within three days. When a refund prediction was given, 38 shops refunded the money earlier than expected. 24 retailers gave no prediction to the customer.
Retailers should at the very least be giving customers a refund prediction. Without this, customers are left in the dark about when they will receive this repayment.
Key Finding #7:
For 60 shops, the parcel tracking is hosted by the logistics provider and for 20 retailers checking the tracking link immediately led to an error message. 14 retailers do not send any tracking information.
Did you know that the open rates of tracking emails is upwards of 60%? So why do 74 fashion retailers allow the carrier to capture this engaged audience? If this page is hosted in the retailer’s ecosystem then this traffic will feed back to the website, encouraging repurchasing and creating a branded experience the whole way through the customer journey.
Want to read the full report? Download the UK E-Commerce Shipping Study 2020: Fashion Edition here.
Are you a retailer and would like your own shipping analysis? Get in touch here.