Same-day Delivery Might Not for Everyone

Apr 05, 2013 4:57 PM  By

same-day-delivery-image-300Amazon, Google, and eBay are striving towards national same-day delivery fulfillment, but the shipping option might not be the perfect decision for every retailer, according to Shop.org.

In the “Same-day Delivery – Should It Be a Priority for Your Business” whitepaper,  Shop.org states that before jumping the gun and diving into making same-day delivery happen, the best approach is to see if this is something not only you, but your customers, can benefit from.

The first order of business, according to the whitepaper, is to determine if same-day delivery should be a priority for your business. To decide this, the whitepaper recommends, pondering  the following questions:

  • Have Amazon and Amazon Prime specifically affected your business?
  • Are there other companies in your realm who are using free shipping as an advantage?
  • Do you currently have a network of stores that you can leverage with free shipping  or same-day in store pick up?
  • Can you access all of your inventory across all stores and direct warehouse(s)?

Another important question a retailer needs to figure out before jumping into the same-day delivery space, according to the whitepaper, is “Do my customers want or need same-day delivery for my product(s) in the first place?”

While same-day delivery is still a fresh tactic on the market, according to the whitepaper, it appeared to be a frequently used service for the millennial generation over the 2012 holiday season when 12.4% used the service “frequently.” In a broader sense, the whitepaper said, 4.2% of consumers during the holiday season used same-day delivery “frequently” while another 7.2% used it “occasionally.”

One of the downsides of same-day delivery that some retailers are questioning, according to the whitepaper, is that the fulfillment option could become a costly expense. In order to counter the costs, the report found, retailers could see customer loyalty and order increases, and give the brand a broader recognition.

Retailers, the report said, could also create special services for same-day delivery including “white glove” or “platinum level” services for those who request it, or make same-day delivery the “cornerstone” of your brands loyalty program.

Another way to leverage same-day shipping within your company against your competitors, according to the whitepaper, is to use same-day in store pick up. But just as the same-day delivery service, you need to make sure it will benefit your ecommerce business before making it a reality.

Here are a few things you need to have in place before you move into the new fulfillment option in store:

  • Make sure your entire inventory is available online and in store
  •  Make sure that all inventory visibility within your bricks-and-mortar store is accurate
  •  Make sure you have software that can “reserve” inventory and generate a pick list
  •  Make sure you have incentives in place for your store associates to get them “excited” about a new pick/pack/ship/deliver promise to customers

The bottom line, according to the report, is that retailers “should not blindly follow competitors” and instead analyze if the option will be a good fit for your company. If you find that same-day delivery and/or same-day in store pick up would benefit your company, the whitepaper recommends, going out and testing the service in multiple ways including outsourcing or in-house.

Retailers, the whitepaper states, may also want to fist initiate the fulfillment option in a “specific market to learn more about customer demand, logistics, store associate training” to develop a success model which can later be fine-tuned.