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Just in Time for Christmas Shopping, Data Reveals Delivery is the Biggest Issue for Retail Customers


Geraldine Cashman

Just in Time for Christmas Shopping, Data Reveals Delivery is the Biggest Issue for Retail Customers

London, UK. — With Christmas shopping fast approaching, making sure purchases get delivered on time becomes even more critical. An analysis based on publicly available customer reviews revealed delivery is one of the biggest issues for retail customers, with speed and timeliness being key contributors to the negative sentiment received by some of the most popular fashion retail brands.


Unified Customer Intelligence startup Chattermill analysed feedback from over 152,000 public Trustpilot reviews, registered from 1 January 2021 to 4 September 2022, from customers buying at ASOS, H&M, New Look, Next and Zara. Based on ratings given by customers, New Look and ASOS have the best customer experience, while Zara has the worst.


According to the data, delivery complaints frequently centre on the fact that despite stating on their websites a limited number of days for delivering purchases — usually around 2 to 4 days — packages tend to be delayed, with items frequently arriving out of the suggested timeframe.


An explanation for this could be linked to the courier service used by the fashion brands analysed. Based on the feedback collected from customers, Evri (formerly Hermes) is the most problematic courier brand, followed by DHL and Yodel in number of negative reviews. As is reflected in the data, this negativity carries over to the brands that use them.


Return policies, especially those tied to Christmas shopping, also tend to be a source of stress for customers. The data puts Zara as the worst brand for returns and refunds. Speaking about their discontent with Zara’s return policy, one customer said, “I ordered a Christmas gift for my daughter on November 22nd to make sure they weren’t sold out and now can’t return these jeans which don’t fit. The 30-day policy does not work for Christmas gifts and I definitely will not be ordering from this company again.”


One of the biggest drivers for customer dissatisfaction with Zara is also related to issues registered with size and fitting for the brand’s products. According to the reviews, Zara has the worst size and fit out of the five retailers analysed. The products with the most size problems are trousers, dresses and jeans. These are also the top three products most frequently returned by customers.


Dmitry Isupov, Chief Strategy & Insights Officer and Co-Founder of Chattermill, said, “Delivery is one of the most important aspects customers take notice of during the Christmas shopping rush. Everyone wants to make sure their gifts will get to them on time for the holidays. Since retailers choose their delivery partners, it’s crucial they consider the feedback given by their customers throughout the year about the delivery experience. This way, retailers can understand and benchmark the quality of service their delivery partner is providing and prevent it from becoming an invisible thorn in their reputation. 


Interestingly, negative sentiment about delivery comes from the misalignment between expectations and reality vs the absolute speed or cost of the delivery, so it’s critical to stay on top of whether your customers are getting the service they were promised. Companies should also share customer feedback with their delivery partners to help them improve their service and manage customer expectations.”


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About Chattermill

Chattermill Unified Customer Intelligence Platform enables CX teams to get the unfiltered truth about their customers so that they can transform their brands’ customer experience. Using cutting-edge artificial intelligence, Chattermill unifies and analyses customer experience data across the entire customer journey – from app store reviews to post-purchase survey feedback – giving businesses deep insight into how their customers really feel, and, ultimately, enabling them to build customer experiences that are built on the customer reality. With access to what customers really think about products, services, and customer experience, Chattermill enables businesses to operate based on intelligence, instead of opinion. 


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