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  • NETMEDIA International

What is the impact of Covid-19 on delivery habits?

SprintProject, in partnership with DB Schenker, FM Logistic, GS1-France and Savoye, publishes the 3rd edition of the barometer "Delivery Services: realities on the expectations of the French". This new edition reflects the evolution of behaviors, particularly on online purchasing.

This new edition mirrors the evolution of behaviors in the midst of the coronavirus crisis, notably on the online purchase of food products. We are witnessing an increase of 7 points (from 25% in 2019 to 32% in 2020) for online purchases of food products, making this product category one of the 5 most purchased online.

Stores have more systematically offered delivery to their customers for obvious health safety reasons and thus contributed to the increase in the frequency of online orders: 58% of respondents buy online at least once a month, +4 points compared to 2019.

However, during confinement, a large number of French citizens stated that they did not change their habits: 55% of them used to order products online as much as before and 60% used home delivery as much. On the other hand, the share of French people who have increased their use of these two services exceeds the share of those who have reduced it: 30% of French people have used online ordering more when 13% have reduced it. 21% increased their reliance on home delivery while 17% decreased it.

A deeper understanding of the different delivery methods

The French expressed globally high demands regarding the various aspects of delivery. In a transversal way, the type of delivery, the delivery deadlines and the possibility to easily return or exchange one's purchase are the criteria considered the most important. As in the two previous editions, the price of delivery remains the key determining criterion for 29% of the French when shopping online and for 30% of the French when shopping in stores. Then come the delivery time and the possibility to easily return or exchange your purchase.

The key new feature of this 2020 edition is that awareness and use of the most recently launched delivery methods is rising: delivery on the move (+3% on awareness and use), delivery on consignment (+8% on awareness and +7% on use), delivery in a refrigerated locker (+10% on awareness and +3% on use).

Moreover, knowledge of the various services and features associated with delivery (real-time tracking of parcel delivery, delivery the day after the order is placed, installation of the equipment delivered, subscription to benefit from the best conditions) is shared by a large majority of French people, whereas they were globally only half of them in 2018.

An improving delivery experience

The percentage of French people having had bad delivery experiences has significantly decreased. Half of those questioned said they had experienced at least one delivery problem in the last 12 months (54%). This is 8 points less than in 2019 (62%) and 13 points less than in 2018 (67%), indicating a very clear overall improvement in the customer experience.

There is also a considerable downturn in orders received after the specified date (24% in 2020, -12 points) as well as in the breakage and damage of products upon delivery (19%, -17 points). The purchase abandonment rate has also decreased (67% vs. 70% in 2019 and 82% in 2018) and substantial progress has been made in terms of the proposed repayment conditions, which had previously been a major obstacle.

The French websites are highly regarded, particularly in terms of the quality of the products supplied and delivery, in contrast to foreign websites (outside the EU and the USA), particularly in China.

Finally, though the majority of consumers agree on the economic benefits of home delivery (job creation for 83%, a beneficial option for major retailers for 75% of those surveyed), delivery nevertheless faces two pitfalls: urban traffic congestion and the damaging environmental causes it can cause.

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