The Future of Ecommerce Delivery
A few years ago when customers ordered online, they usually were not worried about the long wait which can last up to a month before their order gets delivered. Now, when shopping online, shoppers want better delivery time frame, nobody has time to wait anymore. That’s the future of order fulfillment in e-commerce. We are gradually moving towards an era where you would order a product from your favorite store and might get it delivered to you within an hour. The e-commerce industry has grown to heights never imagined. The number of shoppers patronizing e-commerce stores has increased over the decade and there are signs that this is the tip of the iceberg.
Shoppers Expect Better Logistics Operations
This growth has prompted powerful brick and mortar stores like Target and Walmart to break into the e-commerce industry while running operations from their brick and mortar offices. Although there are certain advantages of having a physical address if you own an e-commerce store in terms of having a more streamlined order fulfilment process. Platforms like Amazon who have no physical offices are breaking the mould in the order fulfilment process by bringing in innovation powered by modern technology. The difference between a physical commerce store and an ecommerce store is the difference in logistics operations. A physical store maintains a single channel supply chain while an e-commerce store will have to invest in an omnichannel supply chain system.
We now live in a world where customers want logistics to be faster and more streamlined, where deliveries that took weeks shouldn’t last more than hours. E-commerce platforms should consider more ingenious methods of refining the order fulfilment process. Logistics and order fulfilment are the bedrock of e-commerce and for a store to have dedicated customers, they need to have a clear cut strategy that only fulfils one purpose; making the customers happy.
In this rat race to be the best and offer the best customer experience, the customer benefits tremendously. The more these platforms get more innovative with the logistics process the better buyers get served. Statistics have shown that order fulfilment is a major factor in the success or failure of any e-commerce platform.
What Do The Stats Say
An estimated 38% of shoppers will abandon an order when they realize delivery will take longer than a week. Over 16% will abandon an order if delivery will take within 6 or 7 days, 15% will abandon when the delivery takes between 4 – 5 days while 12% will abandon an order if it takes 3 days or shorter.
This simply shows the shorter time it takes to deliver a product, the more sales you make. That’s why Amazon introduced the 2 days delivery feature for its Amazon Prime members.
An estimated 69% of shoppers will discontinue shopping with an e-commerce platform if they fail to meet up with 2 days delivery promise. This is why every company must have its logistics apparatus on lock before making any promises that might ruin the company’s reputation, make them lose hundreds of customers and obviously lose money.
Studies show that over 25% of online buyers will abandon an order when they discover an unexpected shipping cost has been added to the order. Studies also show that 74% of shoppers consider free shipping as a very important factor in the checkout process, while 94% of shoppers have actually participated in activities that will qualify them for free shipping. These activities include taking a survey, giving testimonials or subscribing to newsletters.
The Big Change is Already Here
The next level in the process is innovation. The top e-commerce stores like Amazon, Walmart, AliExpress and Target will be forced to become more innovative and offer customers more value when they shop. The top companies will continue the battle for supremacy and will try to win more market shares from their competition, the best way to achieve this boils down to a faster and more streamlined order fulfilment process.
This year Target turned up the heat in the battle for supremacy by announcing same-day delivery for buyers in specific markets. This automatically puts the other businesses in defence mode as they launched their own same-day delivery program, with Amazon promising same-day delivery for Amazon Prime customers.
Walmart, however, made the race more interesting by offering free next day delivery and you don’t even need to pay any membership fees. The same year Walmart confirmed they will be offering customers same-day delivery in 200 metro areas. Imagine ordering from Walmart and getting your order that same day, impressive right?
Talking of innovation, Amazon has continued to show why they’re considered the top dog in the industry. With the recent launch or should we say testing of the Amazon Scout Autonomous Delivery Robot, the game is about to change, forever. Although these six-wheeled robots only operate in Irvine, CA area, there are plans to further increase the reach of these robots, especially in less windy places. With all these innovations applied to order fulfilment and customer experience, the customer wins.
What We Should Expect in the Future
From all indications and every data available to us, we should easily deduce the future is bright for the e-commerce industry. The customer experience is only going to get better, logistics is only going to get smoother and delivery is going to get faster. And considering how fast delivery have become (same-day delivery) you might ask “how fast can delivery get?”
We are talking about the same hour delivery of your products. Where you’ll order for a product, get into the shower and before you finish applying your lotion your product is going to be waiting for you in your doorstep. It seems far-fetched but it is possible.
The big boys in the industry are very capable of achieving this feat, with stores like Walmart and Target who are more qualified to pull this off. They have physical stores and most metro areas can enjoy same-hour delivery.
The future looks bright, the online shopping experience is only going to get better, online buyers are going to enjoy special shopping experiences every day.