600,000 Christmas presents ordered for home delivery on Cyber Monday will require re-delivery. An estimated 30 million unwanted presents, worth over £0.5 billion, will be returned over Christmas, with the majority on the first Thursday after Christmas.
LCP Consulting says that this flood of returns and the need to double next day deliveries from December will put additional demands on retailers after events like Cyber Monday during their busiest online sales week of the year with a potential for re-delivery. It says that next day deliveries will be more prominent in 2014 compared to 2013, as retailers have moved their last order dates further from Christmas.
A recent LCP report found that one third of UK retailers experienced an increase in complaints as customer expectations outpace retail fulfilment capability. The report also identified the need for retailers to understand where they sit in the marketplace, what they should focus on and the best model for them to adopt, using four retail archetypes defined by LCP. It highlights the area of customer convenience and fulfilment as of critical importance for retail leadership and differentiation.
Stuart Higgins, retail partner at LCP Consulting said: “Retailers may attract customers by managing the front end, particularly during the critical Christmas period – but that is only half the story. How likely will they be to return when the experience doesn’t match the promise?”
Getting refunds back to customers in a timely way and the processes that are associated with these returns will be a key challenge for retailers.