E-commerce specialists Snowvalley have released their Online Delivery Report for 2008. This is the fourth year they have produced the research, and makes for interesting reading for anyone involved in online retail, particularly anyone with a role in fraud or fulfillment.
As part of the report, 107 UK online retailers are visited and orders are placed with each, with the orders tracked from start to delivery completion. 30 of the sites surveyed appear on the IMRG-Hitwise top 50 retailers, and the report gives details for all of the retailers, in comparison to the other 77 sites surveyed, to show trends amongst the top performers.
Importance of online shopping delivery
The report explores the cost of receiving an online delivery, citing John Lewis as just one retailer to have successfully implemented free website delivery. It also explores the choices available, online support and order fulfillment quoting only 71% of orders placed arriving on time. The report makes for interesting reading, especially with Christmas falling on a Thursday, meaning that website customers have longer to place an order in time for Christmas delivery. The Royal Mail has also taken into account the later posting dates, and increased demand and have introduced Sunday redeliveries on 21st December as well as evening deliveries on Monday 22nd and Tuesday 23rd.
Billing Address Verification
Fraud Managers may be particularly interested in the Delivery Flexibility section of the report. Figures show that only 9% of online retailers insist on delivering the first order to the billing address, however whilst 2 retailers had abandoned this policy since 2007, another 2 had implemented it, which the report suggests is “probably in the light of increased fraud”.
Does your fraud policy allow split delivery?
More surprisingly were the findings on split delivery; only 12% of online retailers allowing 2 items to be delivered to 2 addresses within one transaction. Whilst gift and wine suppliers were more likely to offer this service, no electrical suppliers provided this service, again perhaps due to the risk of fraud. Address verification across multiple addresses is a low cost check, and implementing this may help retailers stand out in an increasingly competitive market, as well as retaining higher spending customers.
International Address Verification
Another area for improvement is international delivery. Only 24% of retailers surveyed were fully international, with 48% only delivering to UK addresses. With international address verification from 192, ecommerce operators are able to capture, cleanse and verify address and customer details in 237 countries, allowing greater flexibility, especially useful for those Christmas gifts to expatriate friends and family!
The report shows a positive outlook for online fulfillment, albeit with areas for improvement, perhaps best summed up by one of the surveyed retailers as:
“We are constantly reviewing our delivery services to best suit the needs of our customers. We feel that by offering our customers a wide range of delivery options, they are likely to find one which fits with their requirements.”
The full report is available for free download at: http://www.snowvalley.com/reports
To find out how 192 can help you allow more flexible deliveries and prevent fraud, please contact us for a free demo and trial of our services.