An IMRG survey of its retail members has revealed that 77% of them believe that strike action by the CWU may discourage consumers from shopping online in the run up to Christmas. IMRG’s Director of Operations, David Smith said “E-commerce sales are set to top £50bn in 2009, even through the recession, but a strike of this nature has the potential to do significant harm to online retail sales.
“Up to now 86% of the retailers surveyed have used Royal Mail for at least some of their deliveries but this option is being taken from them and 60% have already made alternative arrangements to by-pass Royal Mail to protect their customers. For Royal Mail the impact of this industrial action is going to be disastrous”.
The survey also found that 79% of those retailers offering alternative delivery arrangements would be absorbing any additional costs in an effort to minimise the impact on their customers, whilst 67% were taking steps to fully inform their online shoppers of potential delays on their websites at the time of order.
61% of the retailers were already receiving specific enquiries from concerned consumers about delivery arrangements in relation to the strike action. This number will only increase as the strike takes hold.
With the strike taking place on Thursday IMRG has released some practical advice for online retailers available on the IMRG website here to help minimise the effect of the disruption.