A staggering 62% of Australian adults used the internet to purchase goods. That was in 2011.
This year online sales in Australia alone are likely to exceed $32 billion.
But in the haste to purchase items cheaply and have fast delivery, the consumer becomes a casualty.
The Bargain price Issue
Businesses need to get parcels out the door as cheaply as possible; this helps them to remain competitive. However, as many customers are discovering; this can result in damaged goods or simply no delivery.
The biggest delivery firms are setting parcel delivery times as short as 2 minutes. This is not only unrealistic; it is impossible.
The result is parcels are handled badly and many drivers will simply drop off a slip stating that they tried to deliver a parcel; even though they didn’t.
In some cases drivers are even forging signatures to get their quota up. The parcel can then be left anywhere; although you lay never find it.
How Online Retailers Are Making This Worse
The technology is available to use damage indicators which monitor how a parcel is handled. However, this is an additional cost that the suppliers are not interested in. Consumers are not helping this by generally choosing the supplier that gives the cheapest or free delivery.
The problem then starts when your item is listed as delivered. This means it is no longer an issue for the online retailer. They do not need to chase the parcel or issue a refund or replacement; as far as they are concerned the parcel has been delivered.
Of course, the response is no better from the delivery service. They will assure you it was signed for by a neighbor or rearrange a delivery time if it hasn’t yet been delivered.
But, you can easily end up taking more time off work for no reason.
The bottom line is that the retailer will not stop using these big delivery services; despite the fact they do not have good reputations.
This is because the biggest delivery services offer the cheapest prices and they need to keep costs down in order to stay competitive and maximize profit.
Is There A Solution?
The way it stands the solution will need to come from the consumer. It is time to start avoiding the suppliers who offer the cheapest delivery service.
Instead customers need to look at the quality of the delivery service, its reputation and its track record for delivery.
It is also important to consider how the supplier will package your product; only choose online retailers that pack your item securely.
Yes, the price of your purchase will rise but the reward is a package delivered on time without damage. The extra funds are worth the reduced stress.
Suppliers will listen to the voice of the consumer and start to use the services that have good reputations. If they don’t they won’t get the orders!
Of course, this is the theory in an idealistic world; the truth is cost will always drive the market. Choose your supplier wisely or end up in limbo; unable to claim a refund from the retailer and unable to log a claim with the courier service!