Nearly half of UK shoppers will do last minute shopping online in the week leading up to Christmas, but over two thirds don’t trust retailers to deliver the gifts before the big day.
A study by Eptica also found that shoppers’ mistrust of retailers’ ability to deliver items on time is made worse by unclear information and unhelpful answers to delivery questions on their websites.
The Christmas 2011 Retail Experience Study found that 46 per cent of shoppers would shop online in the run up to Christmas day.
However, 27 per cent simply expect deliveries to be late. In total, 67.3 per cent said they didn’t trust retailers to deliver on time.
“Retailers need to do much more to reassure customers that their presents will arrive for Christmas day,” said Dee Roche, marketing director of Eptica, which supplies customer interaction management software.
“Consumers obviously trust Father Christmas to deliver on time – but not the majority of online retailers.”
The study found that 85 per cent of the top retail sites that were reviewed failed to provide straightforward details of final ordering dates to guarantee Christmas delivery, with the majority leaving it to shoppers to puzzle it out for themselves based on standard delivery information or forcing them to call or email contact centres.
UK consumers are expected to spend more than £13.5 billion online during the Christmas period, according to figures from IMRG, which also reckons the UK now represents over 30 per cent of European online sales.
IMRG chief James Roper said: “We expect the internet to account for around 20 per cent of all UK Christmas shopping this year, with 93 per cent of UK online consumers planning to shop online this Christmas, and 58 per cent expecting to do half or more online.”
But Roche warned: “Companies need to be clear, transparent and consistent with information – otherwise they risk losing vital Christmas sales as nervous customers shop elsewhere.”