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JDA/Centiro survey reveals 88 percent of Chinese shoppers experienced problems with an order during sales events in the last 12 months

Jul 25, 2017

Quality, slow delivery, and returns are the top 3 issues to solve

Scottsdale, Ariz., July 25, 2017 – A significant number (88 percent) of Chinese shoppers experienced an issue with an order during a peak shopping period or sales event in the last 12 months, according to the JDA/Centiro Customer Pulse 2017 Report conducted by YouGov.  Two-thirds (66 percent) of Chinese consumers said they had experienced late deliveries, 33 percent received poor quality products, 23 percent experienced items being out of stock and 22 percent received items not matching the picture online. At a time when online order volumes continue to grow rapidly, more than half of Chinese shoppers (58 percent) stated a poor fulfillment experience during peak periods or shopping events would dissuade them from shopping with the same retailer during the next 12 months.

“The Chinese retail market has been dominated by sales events such as Singles Day over the past few years, demonstrating consumers’ insatiable appetite for online retail. However, as our research shows, that appetite doesn’t extend to poor service,” said Patrick Viney, vice president, retail strategy Asia-Pacific at JDA. “It is therefore critical that retailers continue to address issues such as poor product quality, late delivery, unmatched items and out of stocks, otherwise they risk future customer loyalty. Put simply, if customers’ expectations are not met, they will look elsewhere.”

Customer service woes
The research reveals that many Chinese shoppers continue to receive poor customer service, with nearly two-thirds (62 percent) experiencing it in the last 12 months. In fact, more than a fifth (21 percent) of respondents stated they had a poor experience getting an issue with an online delivery resolved. This certainly isn’t an issue Chinese retailers can ignore, as more than three-quarters (78 percent) of Chinese consumers said a poor problem resolution experience would lead them to switch retailers when next shopping for products online.

Growing consumer awareness of Click & Collect
The recent JDA/PwC CEO survey revealed that 64 percent of Chinese retail CEOs view Click & Collect services as an area for investment in the coming years. Indeed, the Customer Pulse Report shows that 88 percent of Chinese consumers are aware of Click & Collect; however, less than a third (32 percent) have actually used the service in the last 12 months.

Despite Click & Collect being in its infancy in China, convenience (56 percent) and avoiding delivery charges (37 percent) were seen as the biggest reasons for using the service, highlighting its future potential for growth. In fact, the survey revealed huge benefits for retailers to operate a successful Click & Collect service, as more than two-thirds (67 percent) of Chinese shoppers would purchase an additional item when collecting purchases from the store.

Returns remain a headache
As revealed in the JDA/PwC CEO survey, 88 percent of Chinese retail CEOs are concerned that the cost of customer returns is eroding profits to some extent. They are right to be concerned as the Customer Pulse Report reveals that 69 percent of Chinese consumers have returned goods they purchased online in the last 12 months. When consumers were asked about their reasons for making returns, the biggest issues cited were that the item was faulty (68 percent) or the item was not what they were expecting (50 percent).

The research went on to highlight how the overall returns experience cannot be underestimated. The majority (85 percent) of Chinese consumers said ease of returns does factor into which retailers they shop with. Two-thirds (66 percent) of Chinese consumers said an unhappy returns experience would dissuade them from making another purchase with the same retailer in the future.

A mobile future in store and out
The research re-affirmed the popularity of mobile device usage in the Chinese retail market as an overwhelming 92 percent of Chinese consumers said they used their mobile device while in a store. Checking/comparing prices (63 percent) and accessing/redeeming mobile offers (43 percent) were the biggest reasons for using mobile devices in store. However, it is interesting to note that 26 percent would make online purchases from the store they are in and 20 percent would make purchase from another retailer. Furthermore, more than half (57 percent) of Chinese consumers stated that they will be predominantly interacting with retailers via their mobile device in five years’ time.

“For long-term success, Chinese retailers need to improve in three key areas: delivery, returns and customer experience. It is vital that ensuring customers have a clear understanding of delivery timelines and that products meeting their expectations in terms of specification and quality. The winners will be those retailers who can successfully combine greater customer centricity with a best-in-class online fulfillment operations,” continued Viney.

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,225 Chinese adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 13th - 20th March 2017. The surveys were carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all Chinese adults (aged 18+).

About Centiro
Centiro is the leading innovator in cloud-based transportation and delivery management solutions. Centiro’s products empower companies and finer supply chains in more than 125 countries. The company has won several awards and accolades over the years and is ranked as one of the best places to work in Europe by Great Place to Work®. For further information, please visit: www.centiro.com.

About JDA Software Group, Inc.
JDA Software is the leading supply chain provider powering today’s digital transformation.  We help companies optimize delivery to customers by enabling them to predict and shape demand, fulfill faster and more intelligently, and improve customer experiences and loyalty.  More than 4,000 global customers use our unmatched end-to-end solutions portfolio to unify and shorten their supply chains, increase speed of execution, and profitably deliver to their customers.  Our world-class client roster includes 73 of the top 100 retailers, 71 of the top 100 consumer goods companies, and 13 of the top 16 3PLs.  Running JDA, you can plan to deliver. www.jda.com