A report on current consumer perception and trust for high importance or time critical deliveries, such as medical devices and travel documents indicates there many opportunities to improve.
The report, “Mission Critical Deliveries Report,” released Aug. 11, was conducted by third-party research firm YouGov on behalf of parcelLab, a Boston-based software company offering an operations experience management platform for the post-sales experience. The software provider says it uncovers the pain points U.S. consumers experience around delivery of medical devices, prescriptions, travel documents and more and how that effects their trust in retailers, suppliers and carriers, and shows that U.S. consumers have a harder time trusting than they realize.
While two-thirds (66%) of respondents generally do trust that time-critical or high-importance items will be delivered by a specific time, one in four (25%) do not. Nevertheless, several circumstances have made U.S. consumers reluctant to order these items for home delivery. Some 32% would be reluctant to order again following a failed delivery or negative experience when ordering, and 29% would be reluctant to order items for a special occasion when the item has to arrive by a specific date or time.
Similarly, 28% of consumers surveyed expressed reluctance when they know it might be difficult to find a replacement item in person if it does not arrive on time or gets lost, and that figure was 26% when an essential item is needed for a vacation or trip, or when running low on a particular item. “While data shows that trust is high, when compared against consumer’s reluctancy nature, it begs the question whether trust with brands is truly present,” parcelLab said.
Deliveries make or break the customer experience
The report highlights the fact that delivery can make or break the customer experience. Nearly one-third (30%) of consumers reported that negative reviews or comments around a supplier’s delivery service would be a reason for not ordering time critical or high-importance items for home delivery. That said, in the last three years alone, 37% experienced an average of two to five late or lost deliveries of these items, and in the last two years, 27% have had these types of packages left at the wrong address, 30% said deliveries were left unprotected or in the rain and nearly one in four (24%) said parcels were delivered in a damaged state.
When these incidents occurred, nearly half (48%) would place blame on the carrier and more than one in four (26%) would place the blame on the supplier or retailer in which the item was ordered.
For packages that did not arrive on time or ended up being lost, 34% of customers would avoid ordering from the retailer or supplier again and almost half (48%) would complain to the retailer’s customer service team over the 39% that would reach out directly to the courier. Another 19% would actively tell friends and family not to order from the retailer or supplier, 27% would avoid the courier and 16% would write a negative review about the courier online. 21% noted that they’d be more likely to order mission critical items if they could choose which courier delivered the item.
“Time-critical and high-importance deliveries are often viewed as such because consumers are dependent on these items in one way or another. This means the stakes are higher to deliver an exceptional experience, as it’s clear even the smallest of hiccups could sway them to not even make the purchase,” said Tobias Buxhoidt, Founder and CEO of parcelLab. “This report showed that almost half of respondents would be encouraged to order these types of deliveries if there were real-time updates and order tracking via an app or website, showcasing the value associated with elevated customer communications.”
Outside factors are contributing to consumer’s reluctance to purchase
Additional factors could be contributing to some of the reluctance consumers are experiencing around mission critical deliveries. Nearly one in five (19%) feel current medicine shortages would impact the likelihood of ordering these items, 42% said the same for supply chain issues and another 37% say they are influenced by concerns about inflation and rising shipping costs. While these factors are out of the control of retailers, suppliers and carriers, it’s important to account for current events and how that impacts the customer approach.
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