Four in ten consumers were now significantly influenced by the availability of a broad range of delivery options, according to Hermes’ 2012 Parcel Deliveries Usage and Attitude Survey.
The research found that shoppers were influenced by such as to home, safe place, neighbour, ParcelShop, store or place of work when choosing a retailer online.
Carole Woodhead, chief executive of Hermes, said: “Consumers can now shop whenever they want, so expect delivery options to match their buying habits and fit with their increasingly busy lifestyles.
“They are wanting high levels of service at all times and failure to meet these expectations can potentially damage the reputation of the retailer and the strength of their relationship with the customer.”
The research pointed to convenience being a more important factor than speed. Only 13 per saw guaranteed next-day service as very important, with only 6 per cent saying they always made a decision on the basis of how quickly an order is delivered.
However almost half of respondents said specified day options were very important in the decision making process.
90 per cent of respondents in full-time employment would like evening deliveries, whilst 58 per cent of those living in urban areas would like deliveries to a ParcelShop.
Customer expectations of free services continue to be high. Half of those surveyed were unwilling to pay more than £1 for guaranteed next day delivery, and more than 60 per cent were unwilling to pay more than £1 for a specific day service.
17 per cent thought that even for orders under £10 delivery should be free, whilst a further 40 per cent expect free delivery for orders worth between £10 and £30.
69 per cent of respondents asserted that a bad customer experience would have a very negative effect on their decision to use a particular website again.
“The consumer is shopping online because of the convenience and savings that can be made, so the delivery needs to reflect these motives,” concludes Carole Woodhead.