67% of consumers experience problems with home delivery

home delivery

Almost seven in ten consumers (67%) experience problems with home delivery of products they have ordered online. This is according to Descartes Systems Group’s third annual survey of consumer sentiment on e-commerce. It is also striking that ever fewer consumers consider the environmental impact when ordering.

In addition, consumers also indicated that problems with home delivery were a potential barrier to future online purchases for them. Asked what would prevent them from making more online purchases in the future, 21% of consumers said they had had negative delivery experiences, 20% said delivery was unreliable, and 17% were dissatisfied with the delivery process. Moreover, 63% of consumers who experienced delivery problems took some form of action that negatively affected the retailer or delivery company.

Consumers are ordering increasingly frequently

For Descartes’ survey, in collaboration with Sapio Research, a total of 8,000 consumers in Europe and North America were asked about their purchasing behaviour in e-commerce during the first three months of 2024. The aim was to get the complete picture of the state of e-commerce and home delivery. It also became clear that consumers in every demographic group are purchasing increasingly frequently online. For instance, 39% of respondents in the survey period made more online purchases this year than last year. 57% also made a purchase in at least one new product category this year.

Optimal home delivery experience

‘Although the third year of this survey shows that the industry is making small improvements year-on-year in a number of dimensions related to home delivery performance, consumer dissatisfaction remains high,’ concludes Chris Jones, EVP Industry at Descartes. ‘However, mediocre delivery performance and inconsistent delivery experiences are solvable problems. There are proven strategies, operational best practices, and technology solutions in the market that retailers and delivery companies can consider to deliver an optimal home delivery experience that is cost-effective and aligned with consumer delivery preferences.’

Change in attitudes towards environmental impact

There is also evidence of a change in consumer attitudes towards the environmental impact of delivery. According to Descartes, financial pressures have shifted priorities in recent years: only 58% of consumers now consider the environmental impact of online purchases, down from 63% in 2023 and 65% in 2022. The younger generation, in particular, is much more concerned about environmental impact: 83% of consumers aged 18-24 and 71% of 25-34 year olds consider the environment when buying, compared with only 43% of those aged 65 and over.