Most Consumers Would Buy Local if Offered This Amazon-Like Service
In September 2019, Onfleet surveyed 1,000 US consumers to gather their impressions on online vs. local store shopping and delivery expectations. We were surprised to learn that most consumers would buy from local stores if those stores offered one Amazon.com-like service: same-day delivery.
In an era when local stores are competing fiercely with Amazon and other online superstores, this seemed to us a major insight.
Seventy-eight percent of consumers surveyed told us that their experiences with Amazon have raised their expectations for all types of deliveries. Seventy-six percent said they would be more inclined to order from local stores rather than from Amazon if they could get same-day delivery. And, importantly, 54 percent said they would be willing to pay for same-day delivery from local stores.
This data shows that brick-and-mortar retailers that add same-day delivery in their markets, and offer a good delivery experience to their customers, are likely to draw shoppers away from Amazon and other online options.
Yet, many local retailers are still averse to offering same-day delivery.
It’s not difficult to launch a delivery option, especially if you outsource to start. We generally recommend that retailers outsource initially, and then move to an in-house team once they have a handle on current demand and are able to accurately predict it for three months to six months. During that period, learn everything you can about delivery from your outsourcing partner, including how to gauge and develop predictive models for demand, and how to create a great customer experience. Ideally, you want access to the partner's technology and software so you can see how it’s done and determine which key performance indicators are most important for your delivery operation (e.g., service time or on-time rates).
Then, once demand is higher and you’re able to accurately predict it, it’s usually more economical to develop your own in-house team. The up-front cost is higher, but this approach pays off quickly. Last-mile logistics software takes care of much of the heavy lifting in terms of end-to-end route planning, dispatch, communication and analytics. Managing a delivery operation using spreadsheets and paper isn't scalable, and leads to mistakes. We hear from dozens of retailers each week that are looking to make the transition from spreadsheets to dedicated logistics software.
Retailers that have taken delivery in-house tell us that, in addition to reducing costs, they believe they can provide a better quality experience for customers. After all, when a customer orders online or over the phone for delivery, the delivery person is the only in-person interaction the customer has with your brand. So you need to make it a good one.
Now is the perfect time to put this into practice to capitalize on customers’ needs for quick delivery. Best of all, adding delivery could help local businesses recapture business they thought was lost to Amazon forever.
Khaled Naim is co-founder and CEO of Onfleet, the fastest-growing provider of last-mile delivery management software.