The festive trading quarter this year has seen most retailers grabbing the online opportunity by the baubles.

Golden Quarter v3

According to IMRG the spend on UK online retail sites on Black Friday 2018 reached £1.49bn, up 7.3% on the same day last year.

Visa reported a 12% increase in online shopping in November and over the Christmas period logistics partners of Irish retail body Retail Excellence saw a 23.5% increase in parcel volumes compared with two months prior.

Clothing retailer Next reported an overall 1.5% sales growth over the last two months of 2018, with sales via its website increasing by 15.2%, showing consumer preference for online shopping.

Yet for too many people online shopping becomes an ordeal. Which? revealed that more than half of those who shopped online over the 2017 Christmas period had a problem with deliveries and in 2018 a quick search on social media showed ‘missing orders’ was one of the biggest causes of headaches for both consumers and online retailers during the golden quarter.

Delivering data

You would assume that many complaints are down to retailers becoming overwhelmed by the success of their online promotions, however a Loqate research report released in 2018 – Fixing failed deliveries: improving data quality in international retail and ecommerce – revealed that 19% of unsuccessful deliveries are due to inaccurate address details.

Investigating the quality of global retail data and the issues and consequences surrounding bad address data, the study surveyed more than 300 ecommerce, CRM and marketing managers, as well as 2,000 online shoppers.

The report also highlighted how 68% of online shoppers have experienced a late or failed delivery in the past year and well over half (57%) of respondents say they would be reluctant to use a retailer again if their order did not arrive on time.

Timing is everything

When shopping online, especially at Christmas, timely deliveries are everything. So how do you make your customer experience sparkle?

International retailer Gymshark is a leader in perfecting customer experience right to the last mile. This exclusively online retailer, which is adored by its 195,000-strong social media following, is passionate about ensuring its products reach their destination in a timely manner, clearly demonstrated in its YouTube video Warehouse tour.

“Collecting quality data from the offset is a key step in any ecommerce checkout and is what will help power an excellent customer experience"

This visionary brand sees huge ramp-ups in online sales during the Black Friday and the Christmas period, and can send out 50,000 orders a day during peak times.

It does this through efficient warehouse management, increasing staff numbers during peak trading and ensuring delivery data quality is at its absolute pinnacle.

Collecting quality data from the offset is a key step in any ecommerce checkout and is what will help power an excellent customer experience.

Failed deliveries have a high cost for retailers, especially at Christmas. In the UK more than 5% of deliveries do not reach their destination, incurring a cost of more than £14 each for the vendor.

For any retailer looking to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty in 2019 their new year actions should be to review logistics processes and look at retail technology that can help improve data quality. 


Matthew Furneaux is global commercial director at Loqate

Read our free report Fixing failed deliveries: improving data quality in international retail and ecommerce to find out more.