Same-day shipping is 'here to stay'
Inventory management is a key part of successful same-day shipping services.
Retailers that want to maintain a competitive advantage over their rival brands should focus on shipping, specifically same-day delivery. Consumers who can purchase items and have their orders processed shortly after will likely continue to buy goods from these companies on a consistent basis, especially if orders are sent undamaged and without any mishaps
Retail Dive recently reported same-day shipping will remain a key feature of the commerce space for the foreseeable future. In an interview with the news source, Grand Junction Inc. CEO Rob Howard asserted such deliveries are the next phase in the supply chain.
Same-day shipping for orders started with Amazon and its Prime membership program, Howard said. Today, customers expect such service from brands, including brick-and-mortar stores. He indicated these physical shops are well-equipped to deliver such order fulfillment capabilities.
"Retailers know their inventory really, really well, and, from the inventory perspective, their local stores are going to be micro-fulfillment centers," Howard told Retail Dive. "Local stores need to get better and better. But the good news is, if they do, they beat Amazon on both fronts."
Shipping, performance often on minds of consumers
Website performance and shipping options are crucial for any retailer that wants to maximize sales year round, especially during the lucrative holiday shopping season. A Clustrix survey found nearly 50 percent of customers will abandon a company's site altogether if pages load slowly.
"Same-day shipping is a brand differentiator in the retail market."
Clustrix CEO Mike Azevedo noted performance slowdown and downtime can result in lost revenue totaling $500,000 per hour. Some consumers may never return to a company's online shopping store if the experience is inadequate. As a result, merchants must focus on speed and uptime if they are grow their brands.
During Black Friday 2014, 48 percent of consumers purchased items from eCommerce channels as opposed to brick-and-mortar locations. More than 60 percent of participants expect to buy products through online shopping sources throughout 2015.
The study also found nearly 90 percent of respondents admitted they are more likely to purchase goods that are on sale, while roughly 75 percent of customers said shipping rates were a critical factor during Cyber Monday in 2014.
Same-day deliver is becoming an important retail service.
Inventory management critical to fulfilling shipments
Merchants with an outdated inventory management system may struggle to fulfill same-day shipments. Howard explained to Retail Dive that businesses must be able to pinpoint where specific items - such as a white women's blouse - are located to prepare orders for delivery.
"The retailer will have to know what's in stock, so that they can promise a local delivery from the store," Howard said to the news provider. "That's sometimes hard. Is that small white blouse on the shelf or is it crumpled up in the dressing room?"
Retailers that neglect same-day shipping altogether may find themselves falling behind the local competition in the long run. Consumer expectations are constantly evolving and, today, it appears some shoppers are willing to forgo shopping with certain businesses that cannot meet their delivery demands. Brands that upgrade their inventory and order fulfillment infrastructure should have the tools needed to offer these most-wanted services.