Why Fast Delivery Is The Norm For Online Shopping
If you want repeat and loyal customers, you need to pay attention to how fast you deliver orders. Yes, order delivery is now a vital component of the shopping experience.
With retailers racing to match Amazon.com and other giant retailers regarding speed and cost, it’s critical to manage expectations across the customer journey. By making real promises and investing in the tools that help keep them, merchants can win sales and earn loyalty.
The Amazon Standard – A Challenge for Other Retail Brands or Stores
Everybody loves Amazon! You love everything about it – from the branding, story, CEO, up to the entire customer journey. Every single element is pieced together perfectly which includes deliver.
Yes, order delivery is a crucial piece of the overall shopping experience. Not only are consumers focused on order delivery, but their expectations are rapidly rising, thanks primarily to Amazon. Many people are doing most of their holiday shopping online via Amazon – and this becomes a tough figure to debunk for competitors.
More than 100 million subscribers in Amazon’s Prime membership program receive free one- and two-day shipping, setting a standard for fast, free delivery that even big-box mass merchants struggle to match. And consumers trust Amazon’s reliability when the stakes are high.
For example, its share of sales spikes in the final days leading up to Christmas, when gifts purchased online must make it under the tree in time.
Brush Up on Your Last-Mile Initiatives
Given these pressures, it’s no wonder that most retail brands say omnichannel fulfillment is a top investment priority. However, the risk of failure is costly. Imagine how seven in 10 shoppers are unlikely to place another order with a brand following a poor delivery experience. To ensure that initiatives are aligned with consumer expectations, brands should focus on these crucial last-mile initiatives:
Transparency in Delivery Promises
The shopper survey indicated that consumers want to know precisely when and how their deliveries will arrive. Displaying the EDD (estimated delivery date) in the shopping cart is just one-way retailers can highlight delivery promises, fuel conversion and meet high expectations for transparency at every step of the fulfillment journey. Additionally, shoppers would be more likely to purchase items if they saw faster delivery dates in cart.
During the post-purchase experience, consumers look at tracking packages as essential to the overall shopping experience. And when issues such as delays occur, consumers almost universally expect retailers to be proactive.
Customers would want to reach you fast, especially if they are experiencing problems with delivery. In that case, they would typically want a notification via email or text message if their delivery is late or be notified on delivery schedules updates.
To meet these expectations for communication, retailers should invest in automated messaging capabilities for proactive engagement with customers and in tools that allow them to predict, identify and act on issues that would otherwise cause them to break their delivery promises.
Fast and Flexible Shipping
While cost remains the most critical factor in shipping, speedy arrival — even for free shipments — is becoming the norm. Speed is now a fundamental delivery criterion for many shoppers. So, this very element becomes an edge if you compete against other retailers or brands.
ship-from-store capabilities that can route items to nearby customers swiftly and cost-efficiently should be high on retailers’ priority lists, as should expanding carrier networks to give brands maximum flexibility on timing and costs. Store pickup has notably become less attractive to shoppers.
Security is also a non-negotiable element that is combined with fast delivery. It’s not just the price or speed anymore that matters – security is crucial too! Whatever the speed and cost of delivery, setting realistic expectations as early as the product page is vital. Last year, late and missed deliveries topped the list of shoppers’ concerns about buying holiday gifts online.
The availability of flexible delivery options can also reassure shoppers concerned about post-delivery package theft, a concern for one out of five consumers. Instant notification of delivery can alert customers that they have packages waiting outside their door and ensure they’re retrieved quickly and safely.
Use of Modern Technology
Technology that accurately pinpoints arrival dates and allows retailers to collaborate with carriers should be a priority. At the same time, offering services such as delivery appointment scheduling and the ability to switch shipping destinations once packages are en route gives shoppers the flexibility they need to receive orders on time.
Speed is Today’s Differentiator
Shoppers said that when there is an issue, they prefer to work with retailers, not the carrier, to fix it. These indicators signal that retailers need to avoid the temptation of making promises they can’t keep, and if issues come up, they need a way to quickly understand them and put a plan of action in place to solve them.
As fulfillment becomes a differentiator, brands should prioritize investments to focus on transparency, speed, and reliability. With the capabilities to deliver orders nimbly and accurately, retailers that can make and keep bold fulfillment promises will be well-positioned to earn customer loyalty in 2022 and beyond.