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Critical store service as online business is rising for Christmas

One third (33%) of all Swedes made at least half of the Christmas presents shopping online, according to a recent survey.

“While the survey shows how critical it is to create an overall concept that the consumer is satisfied with – from order to delivery. The fact that 82% of Swedes would change store if they experience problems at any stage of the buying process speaks here for itself,” says Johan Reventberg, Northern Europe manager at JDA

The figures come from the recent study JDA / Centiro Christmas Customer Pulse 2016, carried out with the help of market research company YouGov.

The same survey shows that more than four out of five (82%) Swedes expect their online orders and deliveries will be carried out without problems and would replace the online store if their buying experience does not meet expectations.

The survey also shows that Swedish retailers have succeeded comparatively well in maintaining their online customers happy during this Christmas season. Although 22% of Swedes say they encountered problems with online shopping, the Swedish proportion who experienced problems at least in comparison with the other two countries surveyed. In Germany the figure was 26% and in England 33%.

Although the proportion of consumers who experienced problems was smaller in Sweden than in Germany and England, it is still about one in five consumers. These perceived problems  include late, missing and missed deliveries.

The survey also shows that the concept of Click & Collect, where the consumer will order the goods online and collect it in a store or from a delivery point, is emerging as a popular option even at Christmas.

25% of Swedish consumers took advantage of Click & Collect concept. The same figure for Germany was 14% and the UK 41%.

The main drivers for Click & Collect concept’s popularity, according to the survey is that the consumer will not have delivery costs (47%) and that it, in many cases, is convenient (33%) to retrieve the goods at when it suits the consumer.
But among those who used the Click & Collect,  42% of consumers experienced different types of problems, which included the long waits in the store and the store staff’s inability to find the goods ordered.

For 11% of Swedes, it was essential that the store offered Click & Collect when they chose the store, and 21% say they will use Click & Collect more widely next Christmas.

“Consumers also show a growing interest for Click & Collect concept, which places additional demands on the stores. Here you have to manage staff, as well as customer service and stock levels in the best way not to harm the customer relationship. The irony here is that online retailers and Click & Collect concept’s progress thus means that the stores must become even better at taking care of customers in the physical store. Says Johan Reventberg, Northern Europe manager at JDA.

22% say they chose a different shop than the one they initially had intended to choose because the first choice did not have the desired goods in stock or delivery time did not meet the consumer’s needs.

”Current and future Swedish consumers expect stores to offer everything at a shorter time between ordering to delivery. In addition, the stores take account of consumers’ expectations to choose themselves where and when their goods will be delivered. For stores, this means that they must be sure to get full control of their inventory levels and its network of delivery partners. In connection with the holiday shopping season, many shops increased its delivery capacity, but despite this, it is obvious that there is much more to do to meet consumer expectations. The stores must also ensure that they, together with their partners, will offer consumers greater flexibility and more choices.” says Niklas Hedin, CEO of Centiro.

Recently, promotional occasions as Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday increased in popularity. Among Swedes 69% say that they bought Christmas gifts during campaigns like these, which indicates that traders must plan their processes to maintain a good shopping experience with the consumer. This was underpinned by the 24% of which during these campaign events experienced problems with Click & Collect concept.

The Swedish findings are based on responses from 2,038 people over 18 years from all over Sweden. The survey was conducted from 28 December 2015-3 January 2016. The results are statistically representative of the Swedish population over 18 years.

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Ansvarig utgivare: Björn Nylund ges ut av Scandinavian retail newsservice AB, org. nr 556935-9945 | All contacts: Please allow 24 hrs to respond. | Tel: +46 (0) 760 541 850 (Sweden) | +47 988 29 274 (Norway) | +358 41 36 20 542 (Finland) | +45 266 49 316 (Denmark) |