Report: US consumers are reluctant to order critical items for delivery

A report on current consumer perception and confidence in high-value or time-sensitive deliveries, such as medical devices and travel documents, indicates that there are many opportunities for improvement.

The report, “Mission Critical Deliveries Report,” released Aug. 11, was produced by third-party research firm YouGov on behalf of parcelLab, a Boston-based software company offering a customer experience management platform. operations for after-sales experience. The software provider says it reveals the challenges American consumers face in delivering medical devices, prescriptions, travel documents, and more, and how it affects their trust in retailers, suppliers, and carriers , and shows that American consumers find it harder to trust than they think .

While two-thirds (66%) of respondents generally believe that urgent or critical items will be delivered at a specific time, one in four (25%) don’t. Nevertheless, several circumstances have made American consumers reluctant to order these items for home delivery. Some 32% would be reluctant to order again following a missed delivery or a negative ordering experience, and 29% would be reluctant to order items for a special occasion when the item is due to arrive by a certain date or time. precise.

Similarly, 28% of consumers surveyed expressed reluctance when they know it might be difficult to find a replacement item in person if it doesn’t arrive on time or is lost, and that figure was by 26% when an essential item is needed for vacation or travel, or when you are short of a particular item. “While the data shows that trust is high, relative to the reluctant nature of consumers, this raises the question of whether trust with brands is really there,” parcelLab said.

Deliveries make or break the customer experience

The report highlights the fact that delivery can make or break the customer experience. Almost a third (30%) of consumers said that negative reviews or comments about a supplier’s delivery service would be a reason not to order urgent or critical items for home delivery. That said, in the past three years alone, 37% have experienced an average of two to five late or lost deliveries of these items, and in the past two years, 27% have had this type of package left at wrong address, 30% said deliveries were left unprotected or in the rain, and nearly one in four (24%) said packages were delivered in damaged condition.

When these incidents occurred, almost half (48%) would blame the carrier and more than one in four (26%) would blame the supplier or retailer from whom the item was ordered.

For packages that didn’t arrive on time or ended up being lost, 34% of customers would avoid ordering from the retailer or supplier again and almost half (48%) would complain to the retailer customer service out of the 39% who would contact them. directly to the carrier. Another 19% would actively tell friends and family not to order from the retailer or supplier, 27% would avoid the courier and 16% would write a negative review about the online courier. 21% said they would be more likely to order mission essential items if they could choose the courier who delivers the item.

“Urgent and high-value deliveries are often considered as such because consumers depend on these items in one way or another. This means that the stakes are higher to deliver an exceptional experience, because it is clear that even the smallest of hiccups could make them not even make the purchase,” said Tobias Buxhoidt, Founder and CEO of parcelLab. “This report showed that nearly half of respondents would be encouraged to order these types of deliveries if there were real-time updates and order tracking through an app or website, showing the value associated with high customer communications.”

External factors contribute to consumer reluctance to buy

Other factors could contribute to some of the consumer resistance to critical deliveries. Nearly one in five (19%) think current drug shortages would impact the likelihood of ordering these items, 42% said the same for supply chain issues and 37% said they were influenced by concerns about inflation and rising shipping costs. Although these factors are beyond the control of retailers, suppliers and carriers, it is important to consider current events and their impact on the customer approach.