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Study: Retailers triple same-day delivery offerings

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Eager to get merchandise into shoppers’ hands the same day they place an order, 65% of retailers will offer same-day delivery within two years.

This was according to the “2017 Digital Commerce Benchmark Survey,” from Boston Retail Partners (BRP).

Currently, 51% of retailers indicate they offer same-day delivery, up from 16% last year, and within two years, 65% plan to offer this service. Delivery via a third party service, such as Uber or Lyft has also increased from 20% last year to 32% this year. The reason for the increase: retailers want to provide different options that enable customers to shop, purchase and receive their goods on their own terms.

Looking ahead, same-day delivery services will be even more innovative, as retailers explore autonomous fulfillment. Brands will also pursue self-driving vehicles and “helper robots,” the study said.

“With Amazon offering same day delivery in some markets, the push is on for retailers to get items delivered to customers as soon as possible,” said Jeffrey Neville, VP at BRP. “Autonomous delivery and distribution are the next step with self-driving vehicles soon a reality and a few food delivery start-ups already testing the concept.”

These developments are pre-requisites if retailers want to adapt to the new customer journey, and accommodate the blurred lines of retail and innovative methods of shopping driven by mobile technology, artificial intelligence and rapidly changing fulfillment methods. To succeed, retailers may need to reinvent themselves to create an effective blend of the physical and digital worlds to maintain customer loyalty, the report explained.

To prepare for the future of retail, the study outlines three key customer imperatives:

Personal: Combining behavioral, historical and customer profile data empowers retailers to deliver tailored and relevant content to meet customers’ individual needs. In fact, 38% of retailers indicate that improving personalization is a top digital customer experience priority.

Ubiquitous: Customer expectations for a personalized, seamless experience require retailers to follow customers’ journeys as they research and shop from anywhere. That’s why 49% of retailers will offer customers the ability to ‘start anywhere, finish anywhere’ within five years.

Unified: Retailers’ technology, processes and organization need to be unified and aligned across channels to offer a seamless and consistent customer experience. Thus, 54% of retailers indicate that creating a consistent brand experience across channels is a top priority.

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