70% of UK online shoppers have ‘lost’ parcels due to poor addressing, data shows

New research has revealed that 47 million people in the UK have had their deliveries lost or delivered to the wrong address before, with almost 1 in 5 finding that it happens regularly.

The study, from the free location app what3words, also highlighted that nearly a third (30%) of people in the UK find that delivery drivers struggle to locate their home address. This causes a problem for deliveries, as over a quarter of people (27%) are not often home when deliveries arrive to help the courier find exactly where to go.

Over 1 in 3 (38%) of those polled said they’ve had to wait longer for deliveries because their address wasn’t easy to find, and a third (33%) of people add additional delivery notes to help their courier find their address.

Despite this, 91% of the UK population usually get their parcels delivered to their home address, the survey found. With only 14% often sending parcels to their office or place of work because they don’t trust that their parcel will be delivered to the right place if they’re not at home.

Of those people who get parcels delivered to their place of work instead of at home, almost a quarter (22%) don’t trust that their parcel will be delivered if they’re not at home, and almost a fifth (17%) believe that their place of work is easier to find.

Furthermore, nearly a third (30%) of respondents admitted that a failed delivery would put them off from ordering from that specific retailer again, while 79% of those surveyed think it’s important to know who the delivery company will be before finalising an online purchase.

Almost a third (32%) said they would order more deliveries online if they knew that their delivery would arrive in the correct location every time.

Lockdown had a significant impact on people’s shopping habits, over half (57%) of respondents said that the pandemic broadened the number of products they bought online, and 78% of people have continued to purchase items online that they traditionally purchased in-person pre-pandemic.

what3words also stressed that over a third (34%) of people in the UK would be open to using an alternative addressing system if it meant their delivery went to the right place every time. It has divided the world into a grid of 3m x 3m squares and given each square a unique combination of three words: a what3words address.

Leading delivery companies such as DPD UK, DHL UK Parcel App and Evri all use the technology. Similarly, what3words addresses can also be added at ecommerce checkout fields on retailer websites such as Boohoo.com.

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