Online Shoppers Increasingly Expecting Free, Fast Delivery

As shopping online becomes ever more popular, consumers want to get their goods nearly as quickly as they would by going to the store in person. Internet shopping was once an exercise in patience, but retailers like Amazon have set a high bar when it comes to fast, free shipping and consumer expectations have shifted dramatically in recent years in response.

People want their purchases to arrive on their doorstep in just a day or two, but they aren’t willing to pay extra for the privilege. Many consumers fail to realize the big cost difference between getting a package overnight and a standard delivery, and services like Amazon Prime have led to distorted ideas among the public about how much expedited shipping should cost. This problem is only likely to get worse as two-day shipping starts to give way to one-day shipping and people begin demanding that their goods arrive within 24 hours.

This problem is compounded by that of returns, whether someone changes their mind or purposely buys one item in several sizes or colors with the intention of only keeping the one that works best for them.

New Approaches

These costs might be built into the merchandise price to some extent, but inefficient returns can still harm a business significantly. Some stores are experimenting with new approaches, like offering discounts if people don’t return an item or decide to go with curbside pickup. Some stores that have tried curbside pickup have reported that as many as 40 percent of their shoppers end up going inside the store and buying additional products.

Another approach that is being tested is lockers, which is already a popular choice among European customers. However, convincing Americans to opt for something other than getting deliveries directly to their homes is going to be an uphill battle for most retailers.

This blog post was based off of an article from Supply Chain Brain. View the original here.

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