As the CEO of the UK’s largest toy retailer warns that port delays will result in shortages this Christmas, new data reveals consumers plan plans to get Christmas shopping done earlier than ever before, a potential cause of exacerbation of the UK’s already stretched supply chains.
New findings shows that almost half (47%) of UK online consumers say they would shop earlier this year to avoid delays to Christmas present delivery, with 58% of UK adults blaming driver shortages and a further 44% blaming Brexit related problems as the chief reason for their concern. UK adults are also concerned that the persisting effect of the pandemic will impact Christmas delivery time with nearly half (42%) citing that as the key reason for ordering early, but with an ongoing logjam at one of the UK’s busiest ports the influx in early demand could aggravate the ongoing crisis.
The research, conducted by leading Operations Experience Management platform parcelLab, shows that many consumers see the UK’s ongoing supply chain crisis as a call to action to prepare for Christmas. The findings show that one fifth (20%) of online consumers plan to use a mix of retailers this year to lessen the risk or delays with a further 21% revealing their plans to create accounts with retailers in order to track orders at the delivery stage.
Of the products consumers are most anxious about, one fifth of those concerned about delivery delays (20%) said that they are concerned electronics goods will be delivered late this year with just under a third (30%) placing the same concerns on food products.
Despite shoppers plans to take action to avoid disappointment this Christmas, the findings also show that many consumers have been let down by retailers’ promises of reliable deliveries before. Nearly two thirds (59%) of UK adults surveyed report having had a package delivered late by at least a day with a further 39% reporting that they have ordered packages that have never arrived.
With the shift in consumer reliance on eCommerce accelerated by the pandemic, many will be depending on timely delivery for presents this year. But parcelLab’s findings reveal 41% of online consumers attest to having had a package arrive after the time that they need it and a further 23% report paying for faster delivery but still finding packages are delivered late.
These negative experiences are exacerbated by uncertainty when third party delivery providers are used. Over one third (31%) of online consumers believe it is unclear who responsibility for an order lies with when it is passed on to a third-party provider, and 27% claim that they unsure who to contract about delivery at this stage.
Tobias Buxhoidt, Founder and CEO of parcelLab said, “Consumer expectations for delivery are not outlandish and unfeasible, even with the ongoing supply chain issues. They expect reliable delivery so they can bring touching moments to loved ones on Christmas morning, but at the very least they deserve transparency and clear communications through the delivery process when things don’t go to plan. Too many retailers look to shift blame onto wider issues or third parties, and they rightly punished by consumers for this – prioritising customer experience must happen even after the customer has hit that order button which many retailers currently fail to do.”