Ecommerce is growing year on year and the delivery process is becoming a more important differentiator for retailers. Brands are not just competing on price, but also customer experience. With 60% saying they would buy again from a website following a good delivery experience, the delivery process can’t be ignored. So how can brands prepare for the future of delivery and not fall behind?
Same Day Delivery and Beyond
Amazon is at the forefront of a quick delivery, and we are now seeing them extend their same-day delivery option to more products and areas. This will become the new normal and we may even see the delivery window shrink further to 2-hour delivery.
Whilst this can lead us to believe that fast and free is the best delivery model, it’s not possible for every retailer and can cause a squeeze on already tight margins. The pressure to deliver fast and free is misleading, however. What customers want is to have the flexibility to decide between several delivery options. Convenience to the customer will trump fast and free delivery, with consumers wanting to choose between a range of speed and costs that suit them.
Whether companies are extending delivery options or trying to shorten delivery times, it’s clear that they will need to look at simplifying warehouse and logistics systems. Businesses need to ensure that they have the best delivery partners for peak season or when problems arise, as well as efficient internal processes.
Multi-Carrier Becomes Essential
Retailers who use one carrier to deliver their parcels will be left behind over the coming year, as a multi-carrier approach becomes the norm for brands. Multi-carrier gives businesses the freedom to choose different carriers based on cost and performance.
Managing multiple carriers is not always easy, though, and in the future, more retailers will be offloading parts of this or fully outsourcing carrier management to 3rd party multi-carrier partners as part of a managed service. Handing over tracking, customer service, returns, and maintaining different carrier relationships to GFS takes the stress away from the retailer. It means a seamless service and takes the worry out of handling peak times or times of rapid change. With delivery more important than ever, offloading the task to delivery experts takes the headache away and also becomes essential.
Ecommerce Product Intelligence
We are in the ‘Age of Data’ and we will see this continue to take hold over the coming years. Product intelligence may see orders able to communicate with the warehouse directly to ensure they are processed correctly, and consumers could interact with their order from checkout to doorstep. Need to change a delivery address after dispatch? Want to tell your order that you are popping out so won’t be in for delivery? Want your order to meet you at your friend’s house instead? This could be possible for the customer of the future.
Sustainability: Drone and E-Vehicles
Sustainability isn’t just a buzzword – it is becoming more and more important for consumers and brands. As consumers change their habits to become more sustainable, they will expect the same from retailers. How sustainable you are could be the difference between a customer buying from you or choosing another brand. We will see this expectation fall on delivery as well, with shoppers wanting to see businesses tackle the impact of delivery on the environment.
Technology will help make delivery more sustainable. Just as e-cars are starting to become more prominent, retailers will need to invest in e-vehicles or partner with delivery companies who use them.
Drone delivery is another technological innovation that will help brands tackle sustainable delivery in the future. Drone delivery still has some hurdles to jump before we will see widespread adoption by companies, such as government guidelines and regulation. However, there is no denying that it is the future, with the autonomous robots market expected to grow by 49.5% between 2019 and 2024., and brands should be ready to adopt these new practices.
The future of delivery is bright! Whether it’s exciting developments in technology or ways to improve the customer experience and brand loyalty, retailers have more ways than ever to use delivery to grow their business.