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Fast delivery and data security top priorities for COVID consumers

covid consumersCOVID-19 has accelerated many e-commerce trends resulting in higher consumer expectations from retailers today, than they had a year ago. In fact, a new global research report commissioned by SOTI, has found that 63% of UK consumers (59% globally) say a bad online shopping experience would destroy their trust in that brand.

The research was conducted among 6,000 respondents across eight countries (UK, U.S., Canada, Mexico, Germany, France, Sweden and Australia), to understand consumers retail experiences, their preferences and their expectations during the COVID pandemic and into 2021.

The report, From Bricks to Clicks: State of Mobility in Retail 2021 Report, found that for retailers to stay competitive with consumers and excel in a new COVID retail environment, delivery times need to be faster, there needs to be a more efficient and seamless returns process, and better protection of personal and payment data.

Consumers in the UK agreed the most frustrating parts of ordering online are:

  • Shipping/delivery time (39%)
  • The returns process (30%)
  • Creating an account to make a purchase (30%)

Consumers demand faster shipping times

Speed is now a major requirement for many shoppers, with 30% in the UK (30% globally) saying they shop with brands who can deliver their goods to them the fastest and 37% in the UK (38% globally) admitting that if delivery takes longer than two days, they will look elsewhere for the item. Meanwhile, almost half (45% in the UK, 47% globally) say they would like to be able to collect any item they buy online from a brick and mortar store on the same day.

The returns experience is almost as important as the buying experience

Creating a quick and simple buying experience for consumers isn’t the only thing retailers need to worry about; they must ensure the returns process is easy as well. While this may not have been such a priority in previous years, it is now top of the agenda for COVID consumers. Almost two-thirds (64% in the UK, 63% globally) believe the returns process should be automated to make the experience faster, and 58% in the UK (59% globally) say they would buy more from a store if the returns experience was easy.

Consumers expect retailers to keep their information safe and secure

It is imperative for retailers to invest in systems and processes that keep consumers’ data safe and secure or run the risk of losing them as a customer. According to the study, almost half (50% in the UK, 48% globally) of consumers have abandoned an online purchase because they didn’t trust the site with their payment details.

When looking at large versus small retailers, large retailers have gained more consumer trust when it comes to data security. In the UK, 63% of consumers (57% globally) said they trust large and well-known online retailers to keep personal and payment data secure, while 45% (47% globally) indicated they are nervous about smaller retailers’ ability to keep their data safe.

“To thrive in this rapidly shifting and evolving market, retailers – brick and mortar as well as online – have to move fast to make their operations COVID-19 proof and to invest in future technology,” said Sarah Edge, Director of Sales, UK and Ireland, SOTI. “They need to give consumers peace of mind that their data and money are safe, as well as offering a unique customer experience that takes in everything from finding the right product, through to payment and delivery, to renewal or returns. Mobile technology is at the very heart of this increasingly hyperconnected retail world and has never been more business critical. It’s important all of these endpoints are managed centrally and securely to ensure customer needs and expectations are met.”

From Bricks to Clicks: State of Mobility in Retail 2021 Report can be downloaded here.