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The UK's etailers are fulfilling customer orders faster than before and have become more flexible with their delivery options, according to new research.

Snow Valley's analysis (PDF) of 71 online retailers found that delivery speeds were increasing - although some retailers would like to be more flexible but are limited by carrier costs.

Highlights from the study:

  • Delivery speed - 54% of etailers in the study managed to deliver within two days of their standard delivery rates, up from 36% in last year's study. 90% of online orders arrived within the stated timeframe.
  • Delivery options - 64% gave the customer at least 2 delivery options, up from 56% in 2006. 21% of online retail sites gave customers the option of a specific delivery date, while 20% let them pick a specific time for delivery.
  • Delivery charges - 15% of retailers offered free delivery as standard, while 30% offered this if the order was over a certain amount. The most popular price bracket was £3 - £3.99.

According to Snow Valley MD Carlo Rimini:

“The next 12 months will see an increase in retailers allowing the customer to specify an actual time slot for delivery. 60% of the retailers we spoke to want to offer this, but carrier cost and service limitations are preventing them from doing so."

Related stories: Christmas delivery concerns hold back online consumers 

Graham Charlton

Published 21 September, 2007 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

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