Yes, You Can Compete With Amazon on Fulfillment
Thanks to its dominance, Amazon.com is shaping consumer expectations for fast, free order fulfillment that other retailers struggle to meet. However, retailers can fight back by focusing on crucial service offerings and tapping consumer misgivings about Amazon to present a viable alternative.
A new survey of 2,000 U.S. consumers conducted by Austin, Texas-based delivery experience management platform provider Convey revealed that the key to Amazon’s success is its industry-disrupting shipping offering. Yet the study shows that a significant portion of its customers would consider buying elsewhere — especially if sellers offer the right mix of fulfillment options.
No Surprise — Fast, Free Shipping is a Potent Lure
Fully 47 percent of respondents do at least a quarter of their shopping on Amazon, and 23 percent buy more than half of all their goods on the site. Fast and free shipping is far and away the top reason people turn to Amazon, selected by 80 percent of respondents, followed second by the broad selection of merchandise (69 percent). Nearly half of respondents (49 percent) said Amazon offers the best pricing, and four in 10 (42 percent) chose “best online shopping experience” as the reason why they shop with Amazon.
More specifically, the “free” price tag is the linchpin to Amazon’s success. A quarter of all respondents (25 percent) said they would not use Amazon at all if they had to pay for shipping, and nearly four in 10 (39 percent) said they were unsure. Therefore, close to two-thirds (64 percent) of shoppers would consider buying elsewhere if free shipping weren’t offered by Amazon.
By contrast, consumers said they’re slightly more flexible when it comes to delivery speed. While just over one in 10 respondents (12 percent) said arrival within one day to two days is essential for them to continue purchasing from Amazon, more than half (55 percent) said they would still use the site if deliveries arrived in three days to four days, as long as shipping was free. However, this tolerance declines sharply if packages take five or more days to arrive (34 percent), with just 9 percent saying they would wait more than eight days for free Amazon deliveries.
Related story: Delivery Experience Key to Retailer Success, Survey Reveals