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UK Operations Experience Study 2021 Key Findings: Checkout


Published on: July 25, 2021

Updated: October 4, 2023


What is the state of UK retail after the most turbulent year ever? Are the largest online retailers creating the experiences their customers expect?

Operations Experience 2021: How does UK retail measure up?

We placed test orders with the top 150 retailers in the UK to see how they perform across checkout, shipping and returns. Now in its third year, the study identified that there is still a long way to go for UK retailers to provide a truly exceptional Operations Experience that their customers have come to expect. The vast majority of the top retailers stop marketing to their customers after checkout.

In this four-part blog series, I’ll be showcasing the key findings from our latest study: Operations Experience 2021: How does UK retail measure up?, as well as the key areas of improvement.

Key Findings: Checkout

Key Finding 1: 79% of UK retailers offer free shipping without restrictions or with a minimum order value

Recommendation: Shipping costs are one of the biggest conversion blockers. Whilst free shipping isn’t always economical, using minimum order values or delivery passes is a great way to offer this service whilst reducing the impact.

Key Finding 2: 41% of retailers have ‘Buy now, Pay later’ options at checkout

Recommendation: The popularity of ‘buy now, pay later’ providers has boomed in recent years. By offering options such as Klarna, customers are no longer restricted to purchasing on payday. Plus, they only have to pay for what they keep, rather than waiting for remittance on returned items. With the delays some retailers are experiencing in returns processing (some of our orders took over 40 days to get a refund), these options could be incredibly important right now.

Key Finding 3: 87% of retailers give 2 or more alternative delivery options

Recommendation: The more delivery options available, the more choice the customer has. This means it is more likely that their preferred delivery type is available. Go one step further, and give the customer the option to chose the carrier that fulfils the order. This will ensure the customer is truly happy with their delivery.

Key Finding 4: 73% of retailers offer next-day delivery

Recommendation: With UK retail stores reopening, next-day delivery will become an expectation again. Now customers can go to store again to get their item, they will be less likely to be happy waiting 3-5 days for an online order.

Key Finding 5: 87% of retailers have click & collect, either in-store or from a parcel shop

Recommendation: In the same way next-day delivery will become very important, click & collect popularity is predicted to increase. With consumers splitting their time between home and office, they are more likely to use collection services. These services guarantee they know when their delivery will be available. Therefore, offering either collect from store or collect from a local parcel shop will be valuable to customers.

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