On a Friday eve, and you got a call from your aunt that she will be visiting your house the next day and leave the same day as she’s on a city tour.
You know, your aunt loves black-strawberries and you’re willing to get her those. But – she will be visiting on Saturday and your fruit shop remains closed on Saturday! And hence you think of ordering it online; though you have a doubt about delivery (what if it takes 2 days).
However, while ordering (i.e. Friday) you see one-day delivery promise. So yes, you receive the black-strawberry boxes on time. And the online seller may not even know how he/she gained a loyal customer.
This is the power of eCommerce and fast delivery.
In the latest survey of over 1,000 U.S., Alix Partners found that consumers expect to wait an average of 4.8 days for delivery in 2016, down from 5.5 days in 2012. And the share of those who are willing to wait more than five days has declined to 60% from 74% in four years.
Hence it is quite obvious that fast product delivery can truly change the way of doing business emphatically.
Now let’s see how you as an online seller can boost your sales by simply reducing the delivery time.
Same day delivery
According to invesp’s analysis:
- More than 51% of retailers offer same-day delivery.
- 65% plan to start offering it within two years.
- 49% of shoppers say are more likely to shop online, if the same day delivery facility is available.
- 61% of the online shoppers are ok to pay more for same day delivery
Well, it’s pretty much obvious from figures that how much impact same-day delivery have when thinking from the perspective of a buyer.
E-commerce giants like Amazon, Target, and even small brick & mortar’s online website offers same-day delivery for selected products. According to online shopper’s survey carried out by UPS Pulse, 23% of orders placed online had two-day shipping promise.
As a consumer yourself, you can imagine the importance of a timely delivery: From getting a gift in time for a birthday party to receiving your delicious food when you’re starving, waiting is no fun.
Eventually same-day delivery has got some advantages such as:
- Lower inventory cost: The stocks would move in and out frequently, hence this would help reduce the amount of inventory that is being stockpiled daily.
- Desired margin: Yes, you can ask for whatever you want for the cost, with appropriate reasoning.
- Enhanced productivity: Your team would busy fulfilling the orders, hence automatically the productivity increases.
Tips for super fast delivery
With the advancement in technology you buyers already know what is an acceptable waiting time for a delivery, so your business needs to be in line with their expectations.
Product delivery depends on the type or category of products, the warehouse location from where it will be delivered and your shipment partner’s accuracy.
If the product belongs to FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) category then it is highly recommended to deliver those products within the shortest time span. As if you fail to deliver it on time then your competitors might gain your loyal buyer.
However, you can improve the delivery time by reducing the delivery option available to them. Because the fewer shipping options you’re offering, the faster you can get inventory ready to go.
Warehouse location …
matters the most if your buyers are widely located in different geographical locations – for fast product delivery. Having inventory in multiple fulfillment centers, give you the advantage of shipping the orders from the location nearest to the customers.
Partnering with 3PL
Many merchants struggle when it actually comes to pick and pack the order hence they turn to 3rd-party fulfillment providers to outsource the order fulfillment process. Partnering with top 3PL companies gives small and medium-sized e-commerce business access to a network of fulfillment centers and integrated technology. Retailer notifies their 3PL partner of the order details, and the 3PL partner picks, packs and ships the order to the desired location.
For example- There are 3 location A, B, C. You received an order from location A- you are currently at location B, hence if you partner with 3PL companies -there’s a high chance that they may already be having other hundreds of order which are to be delivered at location B itself. Therefore your overall transportation cost will be low and assured speedy delivery while comparing with self-shipping.
Technology is the core part of fulfilling the order. You must leverage it by using inventory management software which does all the task whether its accepting orders, tracking it, invoicing, choosing the warehouse for fulfillment, shipping management, etc.
What does a good fast delivery experience look like?
Some retailers say that they would offer speedy delivery to customers rather than using free-shipping as a promotional tool. You want to know how to give an exclusive fast delivery to your customer, then have a look at this stats surveyed from Temando first:
- 77% of consumers would like to see a guaranteed weekend or after hours shipping, while only 34% of all retailers surveyed offered this option.
- 61% of them desire 1 – 3-hour shipping, while only 20% of all retailers offer it.
- 80% of purchasers want the same day shipping. 47% of retailers don’t offer this service.
- 82% wants to collect shipments from stores, but 50% of retailers do not offer it.
From the above figures, it can be concluded that the things which consumers are looking for are not totally accomplished by the retailers. Hence its something that retailers must work upon for comprehensive consumer experience.
Real-time Order tracking
Make your customers know that you are actually really fast at delivering the product at their doorstep by showing them each and every detail of order via real-time tracking. Many couriers will tell you that an order is out for delivery but tracking options that give detail like expected delivery times are much more useful.
Amazon is the most well-known provider of this service, offering real-time order tracking for all U.S. shoppers on packages handled through Amazon logistics. You as a retailer can also use this functionality by order management software which shows real-time order status for both retailer and shippers.
Good communication & support
Your customer support team should also be as quick as your product delivery. A choice of handy, fast, or inexpensive shipping options is great, but you need to match customer expectations and performance.
You may face situations where your supplier may fail to deliver the product on expected time key is to communicate with customers and keep them up to date (telling the reason for delay).
Fast shipping or delivery (in few cases, same day delivery too!) is clearly the name of the game. Consumers want to be able to order something and get it quickly too. Hence, to stay ahead in the competition, not just reliable and free (or at least affordable) shipping, but a FAST delivery promise is really needed and that boosts not only sales but also your brand image. How to balance between fast and free shipping is the real trick to be unboxed!