Co-operative Electrical Launches Market First With Free 60 Minute Time Slot Delivery Service

As on-line electrical websites use the cheap airline tactic of charging extra for add-ons which only appear at checkout, The Co-operative leads the way for consumers by introducing a new ground-breaking free 60 minute time slot delivery service* today (Friday 16 November 2012).

A survey of more than 3,000 internet shoppers*** found that the number one online annoyance was not having a defined delivery time slot (top with 90 per cent of respondents). The research – conducted by The Co-operative Electrical – showed that home shoppers waste an average of five days a year waiting for delivery of products bought over the Internet, while a defined slot costs them more money.

The survey also found that 60 per cent of online shoppers had to ask family or friends to wait in on their behalf, whilst half of all those surveyed objected to paying for home delivery.

Martyn Wates, Deputy Group Chief Executive, The Co-operative Group, said: “The purchasing of electrical products online is becoming more and more like buying cheap airline tickets with retailers falling over themselves to find creative ways of adding extra charges, which mean the final cost is often significantly higher than the advertised starting price.

“This is particularly the case when it comes to deliveries with most retailers charging extra to get anything other than an unspecified day and time in a few weeks time.

“Most consumers do not have the luxury to be in whenever the on-line retailer dictates and so end up paying unnecessary extra charges for the convenience of a defined day of delivery.

“With our new service you get free delivery on the day of your choice and we will even let you know the exact hour it will arrive.”

He added: “Consumer confidence is at an all time low, particularly within the electrical sector, but our customers can shop with the knowledge that their purchase will be safe and that they are guaranteed not to get any nasty surprises as they check out – as all delivery options are free.”

Most retailers will offer free standard delivery, via the postal service, on small items, but cannot guarantee when delivery will take place (generally two – five days). For larger items, a specified day of delivery with a chosen delivery slot incurs a charge. Free delivery is available on many large items, but the buyer cannot specify the delivery day (usually between 2-5 days).

Among mainstream online electrical retailers, delivery costs range from nothing – this is generally only available when the spend exceeds a certain amount (around 50) – to as much as 19 to deliver larger items.

No business, apart from The Co-operative, offers a free, time-specific delivery slot and courier service on all items.

Shoppers are provided with available delivery days and choose the day they wish to receive the item. Then they will get a text or an e-mail before 6pm the previous day giving them details of their 60 minute time slot. On smaller items this message is sent the morning of the delivery. They can then either accept the delivery time (by doing nothing), or reply to the text to change the delivery date

*Free 60 minute delivery time slots & next day delivery are not available for small deliveries in the Scottish Highlands or Islands. Large kitchen appliances deliveries with free 60 minute time slot is available in the Highlands.

**The Co-operative Group is the UK’s largest mutual business, owned not by private shareholders but by over seven million consumers. It is the UK’s fifth biggest food retailer and a major financial services provider, operating The Co-operative Bank and The Co-operative Insurance. Among its other businesses are the number one funeral services provider, the third largest pharmacy chain and one of Britain’s largest farming operations. As well as having clear financial and operational objectives, the Group has also set out its social and sustainability goals in its groundbreaking Ethical Plan, which specifies over 50 commitments in these areas.

***OnePoll surveyed 3,000 men and women internet shoppers from across the UK aged 18 and above from across the regions.