What Consumers Expect From Their Delivery Experiences
These past two years have cemented consumers' behavior of turning to e-commerce for their shopping needs. In fact, it's estimated that 95 percent of all purchases will take place online by 2040. Exceptional customer experiences and speedy fulfillment and distribution are not just lofty goals — they're the expectations of every online shopping experience.
However, wowing customers and keeping them coming back for more is an increasing challenge. With hundreds of online competitors, supply chain issues and logistical nightmares, many difficulties are out of retailers’ hands.
If retailers want a shot at meeting delivery expectations, they need a clear understanding of what consumers expect from their delivery experiences.
The Term 'Faster Delivery' Should Live Up to its Promise
There’s no denying that Amazon.com has played a major role in shifting consumer expectations. Shoppers have been conditioned to receive purchases instantly. In fact, 96 percent of customers consider fast delivery to mean same-day delivery. Therefore, retailers need to clearly define what this means for their customers down to the minute and have a strategy to uphold their fast delivery promise. This can be achieved by clearly communicating with the consumer which items are in stock and providing an estimated delivery window for the products they're browsing based on geographical location.
Retailers could also promote items located at stores or fulfillment centers closer to the consumer which can be more quickly delivered through a delivery partner to meet their promise of faster delivery.
Keep in mind that consumer-facing features like ease of delivery scheduling, communication, order tracking and execution are just some of the areas that retailers must emphasize to elevate the customer experience.
Customer Control of Delivery Options
Customers want to have full control over when, where and how their purchases are delivered. In fact, 77 percent of customers have abandoned their purchases because they didn't like their delivery options.
Flexibility and convenience must be offered with every delivery. Retailers can satisfy customers by offering both same-day and scheduled delivery. This is especially true if the items being delivered are big, heavy or high value, as most customers want to be home when a delivery of this type is made. The ability to plan deliveries around work and other commitments is a major selling point, and consumers are more likely to move forward with a purchase if they can select exactly when it will be delivered.
Offering same-day and scheduled delivery is just part of the equation. These options must be executed exceptionally to entice customers to return for repeat purchases. Poor delivery experiences can cause lasting, negative effects.
Exceptional service can be achieved through the right blend of people and advanced technology systems. Technology can handle delivery windows and inventory visibility, while friendly and professional customer support teams and highly qualified delivery pros ensure deliveries get to their destinations on time. However, simply offering quick delivery is the bare minimum for retailers. They should also look to elevate the experience, going above and beyond to provide the service that meets the specific needs of their customer base. As a useful extension of their brand, elevated delivery means providing benefits and features that will maintain or improve their overall reputation, thus creating loyal, repeat customers
What Customers Want in a Delivery Experience
Give the people what they want. It’s a simple but complex idea behind elevated experiences in any part of the customer journey. Make sure stores are stocked with desired items. Price goods fairly and competitively. And, when it comes to delivery, provide consumers what they want when they want it. That means deliveries of all types of items must be fast, convenient and professional.
Brian Kava is the CEO of PICKUP, a provider of same-day and scheduled deliveries.
Related story: 4 Ways to Improve Last Mile Delivery
Brian is recognized as a savvy, innovative C-level executive with a proven record of achieving revenue, profit, and business growth objectives by providing expert business process, outsourcing, and cutting-edge technology solutions for blue chip clients. He has more than 20 years of experience in generating consumer and brand awareness, maximizing product visibility and developing sales and marketing strategies for some of the world’s most renowned brands including Walmart, Google, Amazon, Home Depot, Whirlpool, Nike and Microsoft. He is recognized in the marketing services industry as one of the leading experts in the strategic development and execution of retail and commercial execution solutions. Brian maintains an uncompromising focus on high quality standards, employee centric culture and bottom-line profit improvements. Brian received his bachelor degree in Business Administration from Longwood University in Virginia.