The consumer’s confidence in online purchases has grown exponentially, and it’s amazing to see the change in buying behaviour and delivery preferences of consumers. With global e-commerce growing at an extremely fast pace, the logistics and retailing industry must work hard to keep pace.
For the last few years, retailers have been fighting each other off by offering better, quicker and more efficient delivery service. So much so that today’s consumers pick a retailer based on their parcel delivery experience rather than the products offered.
The road to quicker parcel delivery
There was a time when e-commerce shopping meant a five to seven days delivery period. Over time, delivery periods lessened to two days, and then one day. Today, same-day delivery is not enough for many, and retailers have upped their game by providing delivery within hours of the order being placed. The drive to attract customers with hastened delivery times has caused enormous pressure on the supply chain – from retailers to e-commerce tech providers and carriers to deliver goods faster and more efficiently.
In 2016, an independent market research company known as Opinion matters conducted a survey of over 1000 UK adults who shopped online. The idea behind the survey was to understand consumer behaviour when it came to delivery choices. 88% of respondents were willing to pay for one or two-day delivery service, and 65% were willing to pay for a distress purchase. 58% of respondents believed that a distress purchase had to be delivered the same day or within a day. In 2016, consumers were willing to pay more for online shopping so long as they could control the delivery time-frame of their parcels.
Parcel delivery in 2019 – what customers want
Fast forward to 2019, and it seems that consumers are more than eager to have their parcels delivered the same day. Next-day delivery simply does not cut it any more. So, now, retailers must adapt themselves to the new normal – which is same-day deliveries.
Here are some interesting statistics: in 2017, 17% of consumers opted for same-day deliveries. This figure rose to 31% in 2018. In 2019, more than half of the consumers expect same-day delivery. In fact, 79% of consumers say they would switch retailers if they got better delivery options elsewhere.
Preparing for peak
The peak season will soon be upon us. For retailers and logistics suppliers, getting delivery and the delivery experience right is vital. True, customers are willing to pay more for same-day deliveries, but flexibility and convenience are as important to consumers, and e-commerce services must understand this.
Also, customers want to be informed where in the journey their parcels are. Providing customers with real-time data on the travel of their parcels adds to the customer’s delivery experience. Technology and data can both be used to deliver this information to customers.
Carriers need to be more agile than ever before to be able to meet the growing demands of same-day delivery. The ‘dream’ delivery experience for consumers is linked to three important elements – the ability to track packages online, to get an exact window for delivery and the ability to track a parcel real-time during the delivery journey.
Of late, there has been a decline in service quality provided by carriers. 78% of consumers received late packages (up from 70% in 2017), and 56% received damaged packages (up from 42% in 2017). Nearly 1/3rd customers say they are frustrated when retailers don’t offer same-day deliveries. However, 74% of consumers are sure that they are more likely to purchase from a company after they receive same-day delivery on a parcel.
But it’s not just the delivery that counts. Professionalism on the part of the delivery executive is extremely important to 75% of consumers. Consumers believe that the professionalism exhibited by a delivery executive reflects on the retailer. Because receiving a parcel is the final step in a consumer’s journey, this step can leave a lasting image on the consumer – good or bad.