As someone with decades of experience in the retail industry, I can safely say NOTHING I’ve ever seen has come close to the roller coaster ride that was covid-19.
It changed the retail world in so many ways.
But one of the biggest things it did?
It highlighted the need for lightning-fast delivery speeds.
These days, people are more trained than ever to order online. And when they order online, they want it faster than ever before. Think about it: Who do you know that isn’t getting items delivered to them? Everyone. And their appetite for getting things ASAP has only gotten bigger, as evidenced by Amazon Prime memberships skyrocketing– a 31% increase YoY. Before Covid, I used to have a lot of conversations with investors, clients, friends and industry experts making arguments that the “I need it now” desire only applies to specific industries or products. They’d pose questions like “Who really needs a dish towel, spatula or candle RIGHT NOW?!” And yet, somehow at the same time, they were also complaining about Amazon eating everybody’s lunch.
While some may still try to argue it, people are starting to wake up to the truth:
Today’s environment and increasingly high consumer demands require that you boost your delivery speed. It’s not optional anymore. You evolve, or you die. So the big question is this:
What are YOU going to do about that?
In this post, we’re going to chat about how you can boost your business’s delivery speeds. But first…let’s talk about why you’d want to.
Why Speed of Delivery Is Important
Let me ask you this: As a retailer, why should a customer buy your products over your competitors’ products? Sure, you could do a quick SWOT analysis on the back of a napkin and tell me your Unique Value Proposition and all that. But I’m talking about something deeper. Put your consumer hat on for a moment, and really gut check yourself:
If you could get a product TODAY, vs. getting a similar product in 10 days at the same cost…which one would you choose?
Unless you’re going on some sort of spiritual journey to learn patience, I’m guessing you’d pick today. So would they. Based on our data, here’s what companies see when they implement same-day delivery:
- Skyrocketing Net-Promoter Scores
- Increased conversion
- Higher average order value $$$
- New customer acquisition (Party City saw 52% more NEW consumers using Shipsi Instant Delivery)
- The ‘cool factor,’ as described by their customers
I’ve known brands that have run a ‘test’ to gauge the level of interest from their customers by offering same-day delivery. Three to six months later (and A LOT of unnecessary time, effort and resources wasted), and the data tells us what we already know… They want it now. Period. Covid has undoubtedly helped us understand consumer expectations around speed of delivery.
And while there are countless claims out there, the general consensus is consumers want it now—and many are even willing to pay a premium for it. Want proof?
Here are the stats:
Digital shopping shifted 5+ years forward in the last 12 months 2. E-commerce sales accelerated 44%+ year over year 3. Brick and mortar stores who launched Same-Day delivery in 2020 saw a 23%+ growth in same store sales*
“But wait, is this really realistic for low average-order-value businesses?”
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this from prospects…who ironically turn out to be some of our happiest clients. The answer? Absolutely. This story will illustrate why:
I once had a typical investor interested in coming in one of our first rounds, who ultimately decided not to invest. They believed there wasn’t a correlation between items with a low average order value and ultimately there wouldn’t be a big enough market / consumer demand for it. Well, that same investor called be about a year later and told me a story. He had one job at his grandsons birthday party which was to bring the candles….and he forgot. Repeatedly told me he would have paid whatever it took to get those $3.99 candles NOW.
I asked him to try and order candles on our test website.
He received them in 18 minutes.
Is he invested now? I’ll let you answer that question.
“But wait, what about businesses like Home Depot or Lowe’s that routinely have HUGE oversized orders?”
Yep. You might think someone would be fine waiting 5 days for a new TV. Turns out, they’d prefer to wait 0 days for it. The issue is that oversized merchandise makes deliveries trickier, because you can’t just have a normal car delivering it.
So you need a system that lets you send big orders to big vehicles. Shipsi’s delivery network solves this problem by divvying up the bigger orders to our truck partners. We make sure the right delivery partner network automatically shows up, based on the size and needs of the order. If you have a box truck but you have no technical capability to make sure it’s the one that gets the big orders…it’s kinda useless to have the box truck. And even worse, it can be expensive.
Yes, this can work. But you need a way to automatically sort big orders with big vehicles, so you don’t end up with an angry customer who didn’t get what they were expecting you to because a guy showed up on a bike to deliver a couch.
Yes… it actually happens. So, what can you do to boost delivery speed? Well, besides letting us handle it for you, here are a few tips:
How to Improve Your Delivery Speed
1. Make sure your distribution center, your driver and your customer are close to each other
It may sound obvious…but this is where people fail to plan. You get to choose where you place your next distribution center. Why shouldn’t it be close to a spot where you get a lot of orders from? The closer your driver is to your store and your distribution center, the more time can be shaved off. Of course, if you used Shipsi’s 2.2M+ driver network…you’d have the delivery like Uber and Postmates—but for your retail items. All you have to do is plug into our network and your customers can access this instant delivery, straight from your website. WITHOUT having to change any of your current business systems.
2. Reduce the price of faster shipping
Most of your customers won’t pick the $30 shipping option…even though they want it right now. Why? Because it’s too expensive. But that won’t stop them from complaining or being disappointed. So the best way for you to give them a better experience? Make your premium delivery options more affordable. Shipsi helps with that. Interestingly, when retailers use our delivery network, their consumers can sometimes get a 2-hour shipping option that’s less expensive than the 2-day shipping option.
3. Find a way to track each delivery in real time
When your driver is on the way to deliver your goods, it can feel like you’ve lost the power to curate the experience. We always want to make sure the customer experience is pristine, and that no hiccups are happening along the way.
Because when shipping problems occur, consumers often blame it on the retailer.
So plan ahead. Give yourself the power to track deliveries, so that when something doesn’t go according to plan, you can fix it. This is why every delivery with Shipsi has real-time tracking. You’ll always know exactly where each delivery is, where each driver is, and how long things are taking. Of course, with a 99.98% success rate, we don’t normally have to worry about issues. 😉
Prioritize these things, and you’ll see a boost in your delivery speed.
Consumers today want it now—I don’t care who you are. Stop taking so long to deliver their orders and find a partner who is willing to seize the opportunity with you for your mutual success. Retail today is like being on a torturous roller coaster.
All you really want to know is where am I going next? Up, down, upside down?
New regulations and safety protocols, exploratory conversations with countless ‘headless’ ecomm platforms, micro-fulfillment and omnichannel solutions. Not to mention delivery…which only has, and will continue to become more and more fragmented.
I’m not worried. And with Shipsi, you don’t have to be either.