December 2012 online shopping spree

With the December online shopping spree over, the following facts have emerged:

  • Online shopping reached a new British record in December (according to figures released by Experian).
    • 84m – visits to retail websites on Christmas Eve
    • 107m – on Christmas Day
    • 113m on Boxing Day
    • £77bn – estimated value of UK online market
  • Deliveries: Hundreds of thousands of online shoppers were frustrated by delivery problems.
    • 4.5m – Average number of parcels delivered each day in December 2012
    • 225,000 – Average number of parcels NOT delivered as promised each day in December 2012
    • £851m – Estimated annual cost of failed UK online deliveries
  • Returns were once again a major bugbear and having a clearly communicated policy and an efficient returns handling service is essential for all online retailers. Important points to note are:
    • Cancelling orders: Customers have a right to cancel their online order for goods from the moment they place the order up to seven working days after they receive it.
    • Returning goods: If an online shop doesn’t explain who pays to send goods back, then the online retailer must pay. There are exceptions: consumers can’t return CDs, DVDs or software if the wrapping is broken.
    • Contact: An online shop has to show a geographical address and an email address for customer contact purposes.

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