Delivery commitment a big challenge for e-commerce: study

CouriersPlease research reveals common concerns for online retailers in FY18

Delivery commitment a big challenge for e-commerce: study
McGinley says it is interesting to note that local retailers do not feel threatened by the arrival of retail giants like Amazon.


Delivering goods within expected timeframes is one of the biggest concerns for online retailers in the current financial year, a new study reveals.

Parcel delivery firm CouriersPlease (CP) conducted a research where it asked 193 online retailers what online retail challenges they are facing in the 2018 financial year.

Up to of 63 per cent online retailers felt that keeping up with commitments to deliver to customers on time is the biggest challenge.

The concern was the highest for small business respondents, at 69 per cent, the results of the study show.

Nearly half of the respondents (48 per cent) admitted they are feeling the pressure to deliver within shorter timeframes, with the concern being more common among medium-sized businesses (73 per cent).

The third most common concern for online retailers was ensuring customers return to shop with them. 

CP CEO Mark McGinley says despite pressures on the retail sector owing to growing e-commerce sales and the arrival of retail giants like Amazon, Australia's retail turnover increased by 1.2 per cent in November 2017.

Online sales contributed to 5.5 per cent of this figure - the highest ever recorded in Australia.

While Amazon's arrival down under was big news last year, just over 40 per cent businesses felt that keeping up with competitors that promote faster, cheaper and more convenient delivery is going to be a challenge this financial year.

This opinion was most common among micro-businesses (44 per cent of respondents), while only 36 per cent of small businesses and 33 per cent of medium-sized businesses see this as a concern.

"With Amazon promising to deliver low prices, vast selection and fast delivery to Australian consumers, it is interesting that keeping up with competitors was the fourth most common online retail challenge for our customers this financial year," McGinley says.

"Instead, commitments to deliver on time and within shorter time frames were considered more of a challenge.

"To help our customers keep up with customer expectations on delivery times, CP is working on launching new technologies and services this year to help ease the delivery process for our online retail customers, providing shorter delivery times and greater convenience for their customers."

Delivering a positive online user experience is also seen as a concern by retailers, with 30 per cent admitting that keeping up to date with innovation in the online space is a challenge they are facing this financial year.

Thirty per cent also admitted that managing the volume of customer enquiries relating to deliveries is a challenge, and this increased to 47 per cent for medium-sized businesses.

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