Articles MCM Outlook Report Looks at Evolving Delivery Needs

As ecommerce continues to grow at about 15 percent, merchants are struggling to satisfy customers’ escalating expectations. One of the biggest challenges? An ever-tightening delivery window.

A new special report by MultiChannel Merchant explores delivery expectations and other factors impacting ecommerce operations and order fulfillment, based on an annual audience survey and insights from industry experts. Perry Belcastro, Saddle Creek’s SVP of operations, shares his observations on how companies can stay ahead of the curve in a competitive market.

Following is an excerpt from MCM Outlook 2019: The Customer Expectation Chase Continues…

Customer Expectations on Order Fulfillment

While increasing rollouts of same-day and next-day delivery in urban markets continues to get a lot of attention, consumers by and large still favor free or low-cost shipping, convenience and hitting the promised delivery above all. But fast is still sexy and attention-getting.

Respondents to the MCM Outlook survey have gotten the memo on rising expectations for delivery speed. When asked if they offered same-day delivery, 33% said yes, up from 18% in 2018, while 79% offer next-day delivery, up from 45% a year ago. The vast majority (87%) offer two-day shipping to hit the Prime expectation, up from 70% a year ago.

According to a 2019 survey of 1,000 consumers in the U.S. and Canada by Metapack, 61% of them cited free shipping as the top consideration for the majority of their purchases. However, the survey also found many willing to pay expedited fees for faster delivery or a more convenient option: 81% in the U.S. and 69% in Canada expect to pay extra for one-hour, same day, next day or Sunday delivery.

“Everyone wants no cost, next day or same day, so retailers need to leverage a network of locations and manage inventory across all of them, positioning DCs as close to consumers as possible,” said Belcastro. “If a retailer puts up a free same-day shipping offer, people will bite but the question is, do they need it? What’s really more important to the consumer based on their delivery needs is having it there when you say it will be and meeting their fulfillment expectations.”

For more insights on trends and best practices, download the MCM Outlook 2019 report.

Source: MCM Outlook 2019: The Customer Expectation Chase Continues