Earn More Customers with Faster Delivery

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Posted Mar 6, 2018 6:00:00 AM by Ryan Foust & filed under retail logistics, retail customer engagement, expedited delivery solutions, Mobile Shopping

Your customer places a product in their online cart. Then they proceed to checkout and… nothing.

The sale never goes through. And you’re left wondering why.

Now, abandoned carts are nothing new in online sales. In fact, a whole industry has cropped up with tools to analyze those reasons. This comes as no surprise, when almost 70% of all carts are abandoned according to research from the Baymard Institute.

But what’s more interesting is why those carts were abandoned – once you’ve taken out the large segment who were just browsing and never intended to make a purchase anyway. Of those, 60% abandoned their carts because the extra fees – usually shipping – were too high. Because the delivery process was too slow 18% bailed.

While each and every one of those items on the Baymard list is worth wrapping a solution around, in this post we’re focusing on the speed of delivery. We’ll show you how offering faster delivery with a DecisionPoint solution can earn you more customers and fewer abandoned carts.

The Data on Delivery

According to Zebra Technologies' 2017 Global Shopper Study, 37% of shoppers wanted same-day delivery, while 66% would be satisfied with a next-day option.

This causes a conundrum for retailers, since no one has figured out same-day deliveries yet (at least not on a large scale)…and because 27% of shoppers also expected shipping to be free.

While the ultra-fast deliveries customers want might be out of reach for now, huge steps in that direction have been taken.

Ever since Amazon.com turned the retail world on its head by offering free two-day shipping to its Prime members, the race for faster deliveries was on. The sheer volume of Amazon.com’s site brought online and in-store shopping one step closer to convergence. While most shoppers want same-day delivery, many decided that two-day deliveries were short enough to satisfy their needs for immediacy. And another barrier to online shopping started to crumble.

Two-Day Shipping is the New Black

When it comes to delivery times, two-day shipping has become the new black. It’s trendy, it’s “in,” and it’s what most online shoppers expect to see.

That doesn’t mean that two-day shipping must be free, of course. Even at Amazon.com, the free option is only for their Prime subscribers (or purchases over set amounts that fluctuate with the seasons). Like all things, retailers must balance the price of their shipping options with the impact those prices will have on their purchasing decisions.

Yes, free two-day shipping offers the “best” of both worlds – you avoid carts abandoned from both high fees and from slow shipping. But there is a bottom-line cost there, too, that you’ll need to analyze and manage.

Not offering two-day shipping at all, however, could stop your online shoppers right in their tracks. It makes them reconsider:

  • If they’d rather spend a little more to pick it up at a local store
  • If they can find it at a similar price somewhere else with faster service

In both cases, you risk losing the sale – and the customer – by not offering the two-day shipping many online shoppers have come to expect.

Despite this, many retailers won’t offer two-day shipping simply because they can’t – and we’ll discuss why that is and how to solve it later in this post.

Expedited Delivery is a Must

Expedited, express, and next-day deliveries – whatever you choose to call them – allow you to serve two very different, but very important, customer segments:

  1. Last-minute shoppers
  2. Wealthy shoppers who want quicker gratification

Last-minute shoppers are those who wait until it’s too late to purchase the item they want at the standard shipping rate. These are frequently gift-giving scenarios, but they could also be ordering items, supplies, or materials for a wide variety of projects, events, and businesses. Major holidays, birthdays, and weddings all lend themselves to expedited delivery opportunities. The same goes for customers who want to get started on a project tomorrow and don’t want to wait another day.

It’s not uncommon for last-minute shoppers to spend as much on their expedited shipping as they did on the actual product being purchased. Many consumers consider this a “cost” of their procrastination (or sudden need) and pay it with a sense of relief that at least the item will arrive in time.

At the other extreme are those customers who choose expedited shipping simply because they can. For these customers, the cost is less important than their desire for immediacy. They might not need the product tomorrow, but they’ll pay a premium to get it tomorrow anyway.

If you don’t offer expedited shipping on your site, you’ll miss out on both of these customer types.

And, unlike standard shipping, customers expect to pay a premium for express deliveries. You can pass on the additional costs to your customers. So why not enable them?

The Quest for Same-Day Deliveries

At the heart of the Zebra study mentioned earlier is this: customers want online shopping to be as fast and easy as in-store shopping.

Until science fiction replicators and teleportation capabilities emerge, online shopping will never offer the same immediacy as the in-store experience. But it’s getting pretty darn close.

Not satisfied with their two-day delivery breakthroughs, Amazon.com made headlines over the past year with its fledgling drone delivery program. Still in an experimental phase, drone deliveries could offer the holy grail of shipping: same-day deliveries at a reasonable cost. What this means for the future is uncertain, and the FAA is taking its time to weigh all the implications a drone delivery system would bring. In the meantime, other retailers are preparing to compete should the FAA give drone solutions the green light.

Buy Online and Pickup in Store

While this is more of a customer fulfillment option, you can satisfy any need for immediacy by offering same-day pickup at their local store. In fact, many companies recommend same-day pickup because it achieves same-day status without the shipping and distribution center costs. Customers might find it more convenient to do their shopping online, but will still be thrilled to find they can pick it up locally that same day. To accomplish this, you’ll need real-time inventory data and systemwide accuracy – you don’t want customers arriving in-store to find the product they selected isn’t there. DecisionPoint offers a variety of solutions to make it possible, from real-time supply chain applications to cycle counting upgrades to RFID implementations.

You Need Fast Systems for Fast Deliveries

One of the primary obstacles holding many companies back from offering the speedy deliveries their customers want is that their legacy systems can’t handle it.

If your order and warehousing systems take a day or two to cycle from order processing to picking inventory to shipment preparation…it’s going to be impossible to offer two-day shipping. And while some of these companies do offer expedited delivery options, it’s usually through a cost intensive manual process that they don’t intend to perform very often.

If you expect to compete with other retailers, whether they’re brick-and-mortar or online, you need systems that will help you eliminate as many of those abandoned carts as you can.

Real-time inventory and mobile delivery systems don’t need the costly delays and redundancies of your legacy systems. When you can process orders and pick inventory within moments of a sale, two-day shipping sounds a lot more reasonable. Free (or low cost) shipping might also be on the table, since the streamlined, automated processes of your new warehouse management systems improve efficiency and drive down costs.

Speed Up Your Deliveries with DecisionPoint

So if you’re ready to earn more customers by offering faster deliveries, DecisionPoint is the partner you’re looking for to get it done right. Offering “four to seven days” for shipping is obsolete in today’s fast-paced retail environment. DecisionPoint is a recognized leader in modern retail technologies and real-time mobile solutions. Stop losing those sales and contact us today. We can give you better visibility to your inventory, speed up your delivery capabilities, and implement omnichannel fulfillment options to give your customers the choices they want.


Retail Technology

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