Two-day, one-day, and same-day shipping—it's becoming a trend. How can you match customer expectations when they keep rising? Direct to consumer brands need to be able to provide reliable, fast shipping to their customers, and that means taking a deep look at their supply chain practices. Here's what you need to know.
Consumer Expectations Continue to Rise
It's estimated that 65% of retailers will offer same-day delivery by the end of 2019. That doesn't mean that same-day delivery will be the default, but the option will be there. 96% of consumers consider fast shipping the same as same-day shipping, and 80% of consumers want same-day shipping while 61% want their packages delivered within three hours.
That may sound crazy, but shipping trends support this new, on-demand culture. Customers are becoming accustomed to the ability to quickly acquire their goods, and if they aren't able to acquire it with one retailer, they will move on to another.
Take a look at new delivery services such as Shipt, which is run by Target. Through Target and Shipt, customers can get groceries, household goods, tools, and other general marketplace items delivered to their home within just a few hours. This type of on-demand, fast-paced shipping is becoming the norm rather than the exception, with many Amazon products now offering free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime.
Shipping is becoming faster, throughout the entire online retail industry. And direct-to-consumer brands need to be able to compete with these large, third party marketplaces and eCommerce giants.
Things Companies Can Do
How can you make sure that your company is able to ship quickly enough to satisfy customers? Most companies aren't going to be able to provide their products within three hours, but they can make sure that the process is as fast as possible:
- Offer as many different shipping options as you can. This puts the control in the consumer's hands: they can still get the item delivered the next day, they just need to pay for the additional "next day" surcharge.
- Streamline the process of shipping. Processing and shipping the order out should take as little time as possible: everything else should be the responsibility of your shipping company.
- Make sure you have the right supplies. Running out of shipping and packaging supplies will delay your shipping, sometimes considerably. Make sure you always have a buffer.
- Ship from multiple locations. If you can ship your products from closer, they'll arrive faster, regardless of the type of shipping service you're using. Being in large, metropolitan areas improves upon your shipping times.
- Keep customers in the loop. Your website should display the cutoff time for each shipping option, so customers know when they need to order by in order to get fast shipping. Automated messages should be sent to customers for the purposes of tracking their delivery, so they know if it's been delayed.
Ultimately, it all comes down to streamlining your shipping services. From the moment your customers put in an order, the product needs to be moving towards their address. For direct-to-consumer brands, that requires technology, supplies, and better business processes.
Call AFFLINK to streamline shipping at your company.
About Michael Wilson
Michael Wilson is AFFLINK'S Vice President of Marketing and Communications. He has been with the organization since 2005 and provides strategic leadership for the entire supply chain team. In his free time, Michael enjoys working with the Wounded Warrior Project, fishing, and improving his cooking skills.