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On Sunday, The Independent published an investigation into the great 'online delivery scandal' which looked at the 'hundreds of thousands' of people who received less than satisfactory service in the run up to Christmas.
It was accompanied by an editorial which uses the findings to disparage online retail.
As an advocate of ecommerce, my gut reaction is to object to this, but it's clear that 'the last mile' is an issue for retailers, and for consumer confidence in online retail.
So what can retailers do to combat these problems? I asked several ecommerce experts for their views...
Thanks to a greater choice of delivery options, e-commerce sites are now able to keep selling closer to Christmas day, but are they being upfront about delivery times?
If, like me, shoppers have left their Christmas shopping to the last minute, then it's important for etailers to manage expectations and be clear whether or not orders will arrive on time.
This information can make the difference between making the sale or not, so how well are retailers communicating this to customers?
Australia Post will shortly be releasing their free Digital Mailbox in an attempt to future proof their business and step further into the online world.
The Digital Mailbox is part of Australia Post’s $2 billion dollar investment plan to digitise their current operations and it will allow all Australians to securely receive and pay bills, as well as store important documents and communications.
Australia Post will be investing $2 billion dollars into modernising parcel delivery, improving retail networks and launching a new digital mailbox in an attempt to future-proof the business and reap the benefits of the digital economy.
This will be the single largest investment in the history of Australia Post and it comes on the back of the increasing popularity of online shopping, which has raised the demand for package delivery to an all-time high.
Online retail will be 18 this year, so what has the industry achieved during its childhood years?
This is my school leaver's report for the industry as it moves into adulthood.
Kiddicare was the winner of the Snow Valley's recent Golden Chariot award for online retail delivery excellence.
So what has Kiddicare been doing right with its delivery policies and processes?
I'll look at this, as well as some highlights from Snow Valley's 2012 Online Retail Delivery report...
46% of the UK's online shoppers are planning to leave their Christmas shopping until the last minute this year, despite the majority having little faith in the ability of retailers to deliver in time for the big day.
This stat comes from an online Christmas shopping survey of 1,000 UK consumers carried out for Eptica, which also looked at how retailers were providing information on delivery.
So what can retailers do to appeal to last minute shoppers and reassure them about delivery?
Online shoe retailer Javari has the best user experience of 51 leading e-commerce websites, according to a new study.
Javari, which is an offshoot of Amazon, achieved this thanks to excellent scores for search and navigation, as well as its delivery and returns process.
I've been looking at the eDigital Research report in detail, as well as what Javari is doing well online...
With the increasingly homogenous offer of online retailers, it is generally agreed that high levels of customer service are more vital than ever.
With this in mind, I'm constantly astounded by the shockingly poor levels of service British consumers are exposed to.
Online retailers continued to improve their performance in terms of delivery last year, with an increase in the speed of delivery, and a greater range of options on offer for customers.
John Lewis picked up Snow Valley's Golden Chariot award for all round delivery excellence, though the 2011 Online Retail Delivery Report did still find some room for improvement.
Some highlights from the report...
The weather in 2010 made front-page news across much of the planet. Washington's storms caused power outages, NYC endured insufferable heat, and the UK was brought to its knees by snow.
With retailers reflecting on their 2010 performance, the effect of the weather on online sales and how marketers can respond is worthy of investigation.
Thanks in part to the snow, more than a quarter of customers received their orders late this Christmas, and almost half of those orders arrived two or more days late.
This is one of the findings of a Christmas delivery survey of UK consumers carried out exclusively for Econsultancy by Toluna.
Some highlights from the survey after the jump...