Some people and investors often call us crazy for our vision of the future, in which local stores can deliver to their local consumers, and no, NOT ONLY FOOD, but everything. However, if one looks to the news concerning eCommerce developments, one quickly realizes it is the inevitable future of retail.  

AUTHOR

Dan O'Shea

PUBLISHED

June 26, 2017

Dive Brief:

  • Many retailers are intent on expanding shipping and delivery options to keep up with how Amazon has revolutionized fulfillment, but the shoppers they are looking to satisfy are expecting more — and sooner, according to the “State of Shipping in Commerce” survey from fulfillment software company Temando.

  • The study, which surveyed 270 small and medium and enterprise retailers and nearly 1,300 consumers about a range of shipping-related challenges they face, found that 41% of consumers want hyperlocal delivery and 38% would pay for it. However, only 24% of retailers offer it now, and 18% of retailers would like to offer it in the next 12 months. 

  • Almost 100% of shoppers also say they would like delivery date estimates, yet more than half of retailers currently don’t offer this feature, according to the survey.

Dive Insight:

It turns out consumers don't just want Amazon Prime from Amazon. The e-commerce giant's express shipping and membership program has changed fulfillment and logistics; forced retailers to view these aspects of the business as having competitive value; and challenged competitors to rethink delivery strategies.

But, the story of this survey from top to bottom is that as retailers look to enhance shipping programs and options, they're not moving fast enough for customer demand. One survey result speaks to that perhaps most directly: About 40% of consumers surveyed said they expect to access Amazon-prime style memberships in the next 1-3 years, but just 25% of retailers plan to introduce these services in the same period. We should not necessarily expect those percentages to be the same, but they seem far apart enough that it makes retailers seem out of touch with customer demand.

Other notable stats from this survey address some of the shipping-related reasons shoppers abandon online shopping carts: 54% of shoppers admitted to having abandoned shopping carts due to expensive shipping, while 39% abandoned their carts due to lack of a free shipping offer, and 26% abandoned their carts due to slow shipping. Also, 47% of shoppers will abandon their carts and buy from a competitor’s site when a premium delivery option is not available, the survey results showed.

While the disconnect between retailers and shoppers is clear, it's not so simple for retailers to snap their fingers and provide shipping offers and greater flexibility as long as carrier costs remain high. The trouble is that shoppers will continue to seek out other sellers if they don't get what they want. As another survey result put it, 59% of shoppers will opt to buy from a brick-and-mortar store if they perceive that the delivery fee for buying the same item online is too high.

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