The disconnect between consumer expectations and the delivery experience has been highlighted in a new report from BluJay Solutions, with just 22% of consumers having a delivery experience that meets expectations every time.

The delivery experience is now a key consideration in the consumer purchase journey, with consumers checking delivery information such as cost (87%), delivery timeframe (71%) and the ability to track delivery (51%) before completing their purchase.

Around half of all consumers across APAC are shopping more online during the pandemic and are unanimous in their preference for contactless delivery. However, delivery delays are a major issue with an average of just 14% of consumers stating that parcels are always delivered on time.

In Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore, click and collect is becoming an increasingly popular option, with almost a fifth of consumers in all three countries preferring this delivery method. Adoption levels are highest in Australia where 87% of consumers have used this delivery option previously.

Free and fast delivery and having visibility over delivery tracking information are the top considerations when online shopping. Other considerations are free returns and more customisable features, such as the ability to specify or change delivery details.

Despite interest in extra delivery features, for example green delivery, most consumers are not willing to pay more for them. Same-day delivery is the top feature that consumers would pay extra for.

“With consumers stuck at home due to COVID-19 restrictions, we are seeing a shift in delivery needs and preferences towards contactless ‘click and collect’ in addition to increased demand for precise collection and delivery times. However, the delivery experience is being hindered by issues such as delayed deliveries, long wait times and a lack of proactive communications,” BluJay Solutions general manager for APAC, Katie Kinraid said.

While hygiene features such as tracking and regular updates on timing remain critical to ensuring a positive customer experience, the shift to online shopping as the primary means of purchasing marks a significant change in delivery expectations, she added.

“Retailers and carriers must adapt to suit consumer preferences that have transformed in response to this pandemic. Returns policies, for instance, will become more important as consumers increase their online shopping.

“With consumers now preferring contactless, same-day delivery, retailers and carriers need to reassess how they will manage the new model moving forward. Areas for improvement that retailers and carriers should consider include the need for new communication channels with customers, as well as the need for greater transparency and accuracy on the delivery and collection times. Most importantly they will need to look at how they can help ensure a seamless and safe delivery that maintains zero contact and reduces the potential for theft.”