November 29, 2012, 10:27 AM

Shoppers have limited patience for delivery errors

Consumers abandon retailers after repeated fulfillment and delivery errors.

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Results from a new survey about fulfillment and delivery errors track with the adage “fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” 83% of consumers said they would continue to buy from a retailer after receiving one order later than promised. But that number plunges to just 45% if there are repeated delivery delays.

The survey, conducted by Voxware Inc., a vendor that sells voice communication products that retailers use in distribution centers, found similar results when it comes to fulfillment errors, such as receiving an incorrect size or color. 71% said they’d continue to shop a retailer after one fulfillment error. However, only 41% said they’d continue to buy from a retailer after repeated errors.

Voxware fielded the online survey of 600 U.S. consumers in late October and early November.

68% of consumers said their expectations for correct fulfillment and on-time delivery during the holiday season are greater than the rest of the year. 38% expect orders that include free standard shipping to arrive within three to four days and 42% expect them arrive within five to six days. 

More than half, 56%, of survey respondents said that up to 10% of products they’ve purchased online arrived after the expected delivery date. 44% said up to 10% of the products they’ve received were incorrect.

“Efficiency and accuracy are more critical than ever as consumer expectations rise in parallel with their increase in online shopping,” says Keith Phillips, president and CEO of Voxware.

31% of survey participants reported buying 60% or more of their holiday gifts online last year.

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