New studies highlight consumer concerns over online

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New studies highlight consumer concerns over online

Sales in online retail are expected to top £11bn this December, but consumers are still concerned by delivery and returns processes, and the protection of their personal data, according to two separate polls.

Software-as-a-service parcel data management platform provider, Netdespatch, polled 2,000 UK adults to discover their online shopping habits over the Christmas period.

Online retail looks set to grow by 88 per cent this year, delivery firms may find issues arise with customers, as 26 per cent said they would not make alternative arrangements for gifts that fail to arrive on time.

Missing a delivery was among the top three irritants (25 per cent) alongside the cost of delivery (27 per cent) and the returns process (14 per cent).

Click and collect has been growing – Planet Retail found recently that 35 per cent of UK shoppers now use click and collect services – with the figure set to more than double by 2017. However, 85 per cent of respondents to the Netdespatch survey stated that the favour home delivery, even though 75 per cent of those polled were in employment.

Becky Clark, CEO of Netdespatch, said: “We know that online shopping provides a huge opportunity for retailers, but in order for consumers to remain happy with their online experiences, the order, despatch and delivery mechanisms have to be efficient, which is not always easy or straightforward.”

In a separate survey, 70 per cent of 2,034 UK adults polled by YouGov for law firm Thomas Eggar, worry that online retailers are failing to sufficiently protect their personal information, such as banking details, address, and date of birth.

Kim Walker of Thomas Eggar said: “These findings highlight how crucial it is for retailers to not only take steps to ensure they are scrupulous in the way they collect, store and protect customers’ data, but that they communicate their policies clearly.”

More than 82 per cent of respondents said that retailer should provide more information on their website explaining how they store and protect personal information.

Concern over security of personal details increases with age, with 87 per cent of over 55s highlighting this as a concern, compared to 76 per cent of 18-24 year olds.

“With the new Data Protection regulations due to be approved next year and in place by 2017, the direction of travel is clear. As we move towards greater data transparency and enhanced protection for consumers, retailers who can demonstrate that they are ahead of the curve as responsible custodians of their customers’ data will steal a march,” added Walker.

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