Retailer investment in click & collect has led to a drop in bungled orders and delays, but problems with online orders are growing, a nationwide survey has revealed.
Only 26% of click & collect users complained of long waiting times due to a lack of staff, compared with 35% last year, found a YouGov survey of 2,070 UK adults commissioned by software companies JDA and Centiro.
And 18% said staff had been unable to locate click & collect items in store, down from 32% in 2016.
The percentage of people who experienced any problem at all with click & collect fell marginally from 45% to 43%.
More than half of the UK online shoppers surveyed said they had used click & collect over the past 12 months. The survey claimed retailers were also now beginning to realise additional benefits from the services, with nearly a quarter of those users making an additional purchase in-store when picking up an order.
However, the same survey found consumers were becoming increasingly fed up with poor service in home deliveries.
Well over half (56%) of respondents reported experiencing a problem with an order over the past 12 months, an increase on 53% in 2016 and 47% in 2015.
Of those who had experienced a problem, 42% had experienced late delivery, 37% had missed a delivery despite being at home and 24% received a damaged item.
Jason Shorrock, vice president of retail strategy EMEA at JDA, said: “It does appear retailers’ continuing investments in click & collect are starting to pay off.
“Almost a third of UK adults made an additional purchase when visiting a store for a click & collect item, which demonstrates the new revenue streams that can open up when a customer sets foot in a physical store. In the online age, some might argue that footfall has lost some of the importance it once held, but these figures could signal the start of an about-face.
“As the data shows, UK retailers face a challenge on several fronts when it comes to online shopping,” Shorrock added. “Fulfilment and ‘last-mile’ issues continue to hinder retailers’ efforts at a time when consumers are becoming increasingly intolerant of poor service. Today’s shoppers expect retailers to offer a high level of service across all channels - those retailers that fail to keep up with demand put themselves in serious danger of being left behind.”