25% of online orders encounter a glitch with same-day pickup
“The process needs work across the board, as, moving into 2016, retailers are going to have to learn how to better equip their in-store processes to align with their digital presence and operations,” says Kevon Hills, vice president of research at StellaService. The company measures customer service, shipping, delivery and returns of U.S. e-retailers. It does so by ordering and returning products, and calling, emailing and live-chatting with sales and service teams.
Shoppers’ top problem was timely fulfillment, as 8% of the orders placed resulted in emails from the 16 retailers saying the item wouldn’t come in until the following day, Hills said.
The report also noted the following snags, followed by the percentage of orders affected:
- Inability to find an item on a website and technical issues when shopping or filling an online shopping cart, 7%.
- Items ordered were out of stock, 5%.
- No notification that the item was ready for pickup, 3%.
The report does not name the lowest five performers but says their average response time to fulfill an online order for in-store, same-day pickup was 9.7 hours.
“Customers expect to pick up these orders quickly, so that they can hop into their cars or onto a train to get the item, or pick it up when they are coming home from work,” Hills says “If it takes 9.7 hours, that’s a poor experience.”
The average for the 16-store index was 4.9 hours, the report says.
“Retailers would gain more in-store traffic and therefore more opportunities to upsell, cross-sell, push promotions and capture more revenue if they offered better experiences,” Hills says. “If that first experience is a poor one, shoppers will go to a competing retailer, potentially meaning millions and millions of dollars lost.”
In a separate report, StellaService listed retailers’ online order cutoff dates for holiday gifts to be delivered in time for Christmas. Three retailers let online shoppers wait until Dec. 23 to place orders that will arrive by Christmas Eve: Neiman Marcus (No. 43 in the Top 500), Nordstrom and Saks Inc.
The most popular cutoff day is Dec. 21, one day earlier than in 2014 because Christmas falls on a Friday this year versus last year, when it was on a Thursday.
The earliest cutoff dates among the 16 retailers studied for standard ground shipping, unless expedited shipping is free of charge, belong to Newegg Inc. (No. 17) with a Dec. 14 cutoff, Victoria’s Secret (No. 28) on Dec. 16, Best Buy Co. (No. 14) on Dec. 17, Amazon.com Inc. (No. 1) and Dell Inc. (No. 12) on Dec. 18, and Toys ‘R’ Us Inc. (No. 40) and Crate & Barrel (No. 81) on Dec. 19.