In the UK, 16m consumers faced delivery delays over the 2015 holiday season, and 73 per cent of them still refuse to shop with the offending retailer this year, research by the Institute of Customer Service suggested.
The average delay was 5.3 days, but it varied regionally.
Online shoppers in Wales had to wait longest, an average of 6.5 days, while Londoners were just above the average with delays of 5.8 days.
Not only do retailers face financial losses as consumers take their average spend of over £250 elsewhere, but reputation damage will be suffered as well.
Jo Causon, chief executive of the institute said:
Our research shows online shoppers are prepared to vote with their wallets and take their custom elsewhere if deliveries – a crucial part of the retail customer service experience – are not up to scratch.
Research showed 52 per cent of dissatisfied customers posted negatively about the retailer on social media and 57 per cent actively discouraged family and friends from using retailers whose deliveries were delayed.
There is a real emotional cost to consumers when deliveries go awry – particularly around the Christmas period when customers are anxious to receive Christmas presents and festive purchases on time. This emotional cost can soon become a real cost to retailers when customers lose trust and take their business elsewhere.
Retailers who get deliveries right the first time and achieve a good score on the UK Customer Satisfaction Index show a clear correlation, Causon said.