What does poor data mean for retailers and their customers

Data quality is one of the most important factors to the success of almost any business.  But what does that actually mean? And what are the real implications of poor data quality?  When we discuss data quality, we are referring to the accuracy of the customer data you possess, and whether this data it is fit for its intended purpose.

One example of this is address data captured in the checkout process. If this data is accurate, packages and communications can then be delivered to the right customer at the correct address, helping to improve customer satisfaction, but if it is inaccurate, this can lead to a whole range of issues.

What are the real implications of poor data quality?

In a recent Addressy report we found that there were several key implications of poor data that affect retailers and their customers. These included financial and reputational implications, and customer dissatisfaction We spoke to over 300 retailers and over 2,000 online consumers across Germany, the UK and the US, and discovered that an enormous 1 in 20 orders don't reach their intended destination.

The financial implications

According to our research, 65% of retailers say that late and failed deliveries cost their business a significant amount. In fact, we found that the average cost of a failed delivery is €14.87 – money that could be better spent elsewhere within the business. This high cost is down to factors such as refunds, discounts and redeliveries – all of which add up.

Customer dissatisfaction

We found that an average of 62% of online shoppers across Germany, the UK and the US had experienced a late or failed delivery in the last year. Failed deliveries can breed frustration; think about this scenario: You find the perfect item after trawling the internet; you complete the checkout process; you wait patiently; you wait some more; the parcel doesn't arrive. Obviously, you would be unhappy about this situation – maybe even angry.As far as 78% of consumers are concerned, it is down to the retailer to resolve delivery issues – even if it was actually the courier at fault.

Reputational implications

As a consequence of customer dissatisfaction comes reputational damage. Our research shows that 57% of shoppers would be hesitant to use a retailer again after a failed or late delivery. It also showed that three quarters prefer to shop with retailers they have bought from in the past, showing that loyalty can be achieved after a good customer experience.Even more worryingly for retailers is that they say 60% of shoppers now vent their frustrations about situations such as failed deliveries on social media and review sites instead of contacting the retailer directly. This means their post has the potential to be seen by many people, who as a result, may choose not to shop with the company in question.

Why do failed deliveries happen?

So, we know that there are several key implications for retailers and their customers, but what is the real reason for failed deliveries?If address data is entered inaccurately in the checkout, it can lead to a whole range of issues. 19% of retailers said that inaccurate address data is a main factor. But how does this happen? Well, 4/5 of these retailers said shoppers often don't realise that failed deliveries occur due to typos. But are shoppers really to blame?Typos happen easily in the checkout process - consumers are often multi-tasking or not concentrating, and fat fingers can often play a significant role in causing typos. On top of this, one third of shoppers find filling in their address frustrating. But are retailers doing enough to prevent typos from causing such a problem?

Fixing the problem

In order to resolve the issue of late and failed deliveries, retailers should consider implementing a tool that not only improves the user experience but is also guaranteed to capture clean and accurate address data.There's a variety of address verification tools out there, and while 80% of retailers verify addresses, only 19% of those surveyed currently use third-party address verification. However, type-ahead technology is the most effective way to truly combat inaccurate address capture. With this type of verification, online consumers can search and complete their address quickly and easily, and as the shopper begins to type, valid addresses are auto-suggested, meaning less keystrokes are required of them.