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The market which isn’t delivering

5 December 2019

The market which isn’t delivering [ 7.5 mb]

The parcels market is an increasingly essential part of modern life - enabling the e-retail boom which has revolutionised the way we shop. 

We found that 94% of consumers have received at least one parcel which they ordered online in the last 12 months.

This can be because people can’t access physical stores, because its cheaper, or because it’s a convenient option that fits with their busy lives.

While the majority of parcels are delivered successfully, we found that 6 in 10 (59%) online shoppers have experienced at least one problem with parcel delivery in the last 12 months.

People experience problems at all stages of the parcels customer journey. This can make it difficult for them to realise the full benefits of online retail and parcel delivery.

These problems have real impacts on people’s lives. We estimate that UK consumers have lost at least £85 million because of parcel problems in the last year.

People also spend an average of 2.1 hours trying to fix parcel problems, and often experience stress or anxiety because their delivery went wrong. Over half of people who tried to address their most recent parcel problem experienced further problems.

These problems aren’t isolated instances of bad practice. Their scale indicates this vital market isn’t working properly. We’re asking the Competition and Markets Authority to review the parcels market to make sure it is working in the interests of the consumers it serves.