How do the top 50 eCommerce stores display their delivery propositions?

October 2014

How do the top 50 eCommerce retailers communicate their delivery propositions?
IMRG recently published its quarterly ranking of the top 50 online retailers. The top 50 includes 26 non grocery or travel stores. We wanted to know how these eCommerce stores addressed the delivery concerns of customers via their homepage.
Clear Delivery Info
Of the 26 stores we studied, 5 displayed no clear delivery information via their homepage, choosing instead to simply have a link to delivery details on the site footer. Argos, Apple, Next and John Lewis all failed to clearly display delivery info, as did Amazon, although this is to be expected.
Clear Returns Info
18 of the 26 retailers failed to display any returns policy info on their homepages. For the likes of Apple, PC World and Currys, this is understandable due to consumer electronics returns policies. However for fashion retailers such as River Island, Bohoo, and Debenhams to fail to display a prominent returns policy is a surprise, especially as the fashion sector has the highest returns rate in retail. Other retailers which failed to display returns info on their homepages included Argos, Next, Marks & Spencer, John Lewis, Sports Direct, Homebase, Very, Ikea, Boots, and JD Sports.
Click and Collect Info
Whilst still a fairly new delivery choice, click and collect is set to be used by 76% of online shoppers by 2017. 13 retailers displayed a click and collect option on their homepage. Interestingly 12 of these retailers were multichannel operators, with only as the only pure play retailer which displayed Collect+ as a delivery option. Of course, offering click and collect as a multichannel operator offers several added benefits, including reduced stock mileage, increased footfall, and lower fulfilment costs.  B&Q, Debenhams, Boots, Currys, New Look, Homebase, Screwfix, House of Fraser, Halfords, PC World, Wickes and Matalan all displayed click and collect info via their homepage.
Premium Delivery Info
Many retailers chose to display their premium delivery proposition via the homepage. Premium delivery options such as next day, and Saturday delivery services were all offered. Of the 26 studied, 17 retailers displayed premium delivery info, including B&Q, O2, Currys, Screwfix, and JD Sports. Next day delivery was the most popular premium service to be advertised.
Free Delivery Info
14 of the 26 retailers studied displayed a free delivery proposition via the homepage. Considering 66% of shoppers agreed that free delivery was the most important factor in choosing where they buy, it’s a surprisethat all 26 do not feature a free delivery proposition.
Of the 14 retailers that did display a free delivery proposition, only ASOS, Currys, Very, PC World, Littlewoods, and JD Sports displayed a free delivery proposition which did not include a spend threshold.
8 retailers including B&Q, Debenhams, Sports Direct, New Look, Screwfix, House of Fraser, Wickes and Matalan offered free delivery above a spend threshold. The average free delivery threshold in this group was £53.13. At the upper end, Sports Direct offered free delivery on a spend of £100, whilst at the lower end, Debenhams offered free delivery above £30. New look also listed their free delivery threshold for each their premium delivery services, something no other retailer did.
Interestingly, of the 12 retailers which failed to display a free delivery proposition via their homepage, 8 of the 12 did offer a free delivery option, typically above a threshold. They simply chose not to publicise this fact on their homepage. Surely then, there is a case for displaying this clearly. In fact, only Argos, Homebase, and River Island failed to offer a free delivery option at the time of the study.
Combined Premium delivery, free delivery, and returns policy information
Just four retailers displayed their full range of premium delivery, free delivery, and returns policies in simple form via the homepage. The four retailers were Screwfix, B&Q, New Look, and Matalan. The preferred method for displaying this information was via a banner directly above or below the main navigation menu. New Look offered by far the most comprehensive delivery and returns information, with a range of delivery methods, thresholds, and click and collect services detailed in a simple menu.
Next Delivery Proposition
In summary, we can see that retailers are trying to overcome delivery concerns in a variety of ways. But with order fulfilment and parcel delivery options being key drivers in how, and where customers shop online, we can expect to see more developments in how retailers communicate their propositions in the coming months and years.

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