With e-commerce rapidly evolving , retailers are beginning to feel the pressure to offer ’the best’ delivery option for customers. If Elon Musk can send a sports car into space playing ‘Space Oddity’ by David Bowie on repeat, surely it’s plausible that retailers can offer their customers delivery how and when they want. According to a report done by Barclays, 30% of retailers would use Click & Collect as their preferred delivery option, yet less than 20% of consumers chose this service in the past 12 months.
A study explored the utilitarian shopper and what tactics retailers could use to ensure the sale is processed. Consumers with a utilitarian view were mainly concerned with purchasing products quickly and efficiently and reducing sources of irritation during their e-commerce journey. Utilitarian shoppers only purchase items they need, they do not spend time browsing which item they want or browsing through items they may want, they simply purchase what they need. The checkout process for these types of shoppers should be as simple as possible. Often offering click and collect can add to the source of irritation for many shoppers, particularly when there is a charge for this, or it takes 3-5 working days to reach the store.
Transparency is a large factor in a consumer’s e-commerce experience, offering customers a time slot in which the package will be delivered by, or offering same-day trackable delivery ensures retailers lessen the sources of irritation. Many retailers offer tracking on packages within the 3 to 5 days, but often these do live up to customer’s expectations. The customer must click on a link that will take them to a shipping website, where they must copy and paste the tracking number into the new site. Once they have reached this website, they are often met with the message “This package contains no scans.”, which for many customers defeats the purpose of offering the option to track a package. These experiences will often damage a consumer’s relationship to a brand, they may search for alternative options in the future when shopping online, particularly if another store offers faster and more transparent delivery options to their customers.
Although last mile can seem like a large cost for many retailers, there are many companies who specialize in last-mile logistics *Cough WeBringg Cough* and can offer retailers an affordable fee for deliveries close to their store. In the same report by Barclays, over 70% of customers chose the option to have their deliveries delivered by courier, with 70% believing couriers should also deliver on Sundays, when most people are at home to accept their package. Almost 45% of consumers said they would order online more often if delivery services were improved to suit their busy lifestyles.
Integrating systems is often the best option to ensure retailers’ meet their customer’s demands and it allows them to cope with logistical complexities of newer delivery systems. Outsourcing their needs to external companies who specialize in the last-mile logistic market can take the pressure from retailers and allows them to focus on their customer’s e-commerce experience.