High delivery charges put off online shoppers

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Over 50 per cent of online shoppers are put off by high delivery charges and the difficulty of returning faulty or unwanted deliveries, according to a study by Hermes which covered the UK, Germany and Russia.

There were also high levels of concern around potential credit card fraud, whether the goods would actually arrive and how long delivery would take. Over a third felt that sorting out any issues or problems would be too difficult.

The 2013 Parcel Deliveries Usage and Attitude Survey found that across all three regions if there were no costs attached to any delivery option the respondents overwhelming chose delivery to home over any other option.

In the UK 85 per cent preferred home delivery, in Germany 87 per cent and in Russia 68 per cent and the figures were almost identical regardless of the value of the item.

Gary Winter, sales and marketing director at Hermes UK, said: “I was a little surprised by how high the figures were in favour of home delivery especially since click and collect has seen such strong growth but it does suggest that this service is purely price driven. As always consumers want convenience and certainty when it comes to getting their parcels and if they can get that from a home delivery service it seems that there is no contest.”

The UK has the highest number of frequent online shoppers (those that had purchased three or more times In the past three months) at 26 per cent equating to around 12 million people and Germany was next with 11 per cent equating to around seven million people.

In Russia less than only one per cent of the population frequently shops online – this equates to nearly 1.5 million people.

The survey also highlighted suspicion among shoppers of buying from web sites that are perceived as “foreign” because of concerns over parcel delivery, security and payment.

Only two per cent of Germans are prepared to buy goods from foreign web sites – while the figure for British consumers is only nine per cent. The figure was higher in Russia at 24 per cent.

“The research also showed that online shopping in all three countries is likely to grow in two ways. Firstly existing frequent shoppers will become heavier purchasers in the next 12 months and secondly less frequent shoppers will increase their online purchasing as their familiarity increases with the Internet.

These are the findings of the fourth annual industry research from consumer delivery specialist Hermes, which for the first time included 1,000 responses from consumers in both Russia and Germany, in addition to 1000 in the UK.


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