Why retailers need to consider consumer rights

With World Consumer Rights Day on the horizon, we’ve been thinking about the necessity of keeping customers happy, for their sake and the sake of your business. In order to do this, it is essential to understand consumer rights.

One consumer rights issues that comes up time and time again in the area of ecommerce is parcel delivery problems.

Good things come to those who wait?

Imagine this. You find the item you’ve been looking for, you order it online, you wait excitedly for it to be delivered. You wait a bit longer. And longer. It still hasn’t arrived in the agreed time. Your excitement has now faded and been replaced with frustration and anger. No one likes waiting longer than they have to for something.

There are many reasons the situation above could occur. One is that the parcel delivery company has an issue with their transportation, another is the item is damaged or even stolen in transit. In most cases, however, the problem is that address data captured in the checkout is incorrect, meaning the recipient’s home can’t be found or the parcel is delivered to the wrong address. No matter what the issue, under the Consumer Rights Act, you the retailer are responsible for the safe delivery of the parcel once an order has been placed and paid for. In effect, a non-written contract has been agreed.

Know your rights

So, what happens next? According to Citizen’s Advice, if the customer doesn’t receive the parcel they are expecting, it is within their rights to contact the retailer. It’s your responsibility to resolve the issue, figure out what has happened to the item and let the customer know where it is. Under this consumer right, retailers are also required to provide  a refund if the customer still doesn’t receive their item within the agreed time.

Social can scar

Delivery issues are an obvious pain point for customers, but, aside from the financial losses caused by refunds, damages and redelivery costs, your brand’s reputation could also be on the line. With more retailers providing customer support via Social Media, and the rise of consumers using social channels to communicate , negative customers experiences are becoming more prevalent online, with the potential to reach thousands, if not millions of other customers within seconds. If this isn’t managed effectively it can be disastrous for your company’s image. Imagine the number of people who see one tweet alone talking about your negligence. This can cause a shockwave of negativity towards your brand. Worrying, right?

Address the issue

However, delivery issues caused by address errors can be avoided with the implementation of typeahead address validation in the checkout. By capturing the correct address data at the point of entry, delivery issues are reduced, saving you money. Not only this, but customer experience is also improved, negative publicity is avoided and conversion rates are increased.

So, let’s look to this year’s World Consumer Rights Day (March 15th) as a friendly reminder that it is important to consider your consumers’ rights once they have entered into that all important ‘contract’ with your company. It is also essential to remember  your responsibility to make your customer experience the best it can be – from the checkout right through to the final mile. This doesn’t need to be hard work – in fact, smarter is better when it comes to making the online checkout experience a great one.

Find out how you can improve your checkout and customer experience with the help of PCA Predict.