72% of UK online retailers now give the customer a choice about when their delivery will turn up, according to the fourth annual Online Retail Delivery Report from e-commerce experts, Snow Valley.

Snow Valley placed orders on 107 UK online stores and evaluated each retailer on their delivery service. 56% had a next-day delivery option, a quarter could offer Saturday delivery or delivery on a date of the customer’s choice, and 15% could offer a choice of time-slots.

“Back in 2005 when we did our first delivery report, half of the retailers gave the customer absolutely no choice about delivery times or costs – it was a case of ’delivery is £3.50 and it’ll take about 7 working days, take it or leave it’,” said Sarah Clelland, Marketing Manager at Snow Valley.

“Nowadays the customer usually has a choice, although that’s not to say that retailers are adding delivery options willy-nilly. Ebuyer, for example, offers 14 different options including one for delivery before 7.30am. At the other end of the scale, half of retailers selling DVDs and other entertainment products don’t give any choice at all but standard delivery is free and it’s fast. Retailers are clearly implementing delivery policies that work for them and their customers.”

The 46-page report looks at 28 different aspects of the online delivery process, from whether retailers can deliver overseas to how much they charge for delivery.

Other findings include:
* 20 retailers had some kind of in-store delivery option
* 4% used text messaging during the delivery process
* 30% showed the delivery charge upfront on the product pages
* 84% of orders arrived within the given timeframes
* 6% of the orders placed failed to arrive at all

The report is available free of charge on Snow Valley’s website – www.snowvalley.com/reports

05 December 2008

About Snow Valley:

Snow Valley is the UK’s leading provider of e-commerce technology and consultancy services. Clients include Clarks, Majestic Wine, Pets At Home, TM Lewin, Lipsy, and LK Bennett. For more information visit www.snowvalley.com

Published on: 12:00AM on 5th December 2008