Delivery options and how they influence online shopping trends

The importance for a variety of delivery options from retailers and what’s available

drone delivery

We all face the ‘inconvenience’ of the necessity for purchasing goods and millions of people are now opting for the M-commerce route in order to fulfil this need. This could be the method of choice for many for several reasons; the product required is not available in high street shops, lack of time due to work commitments or unable to leave the house due to no mode of transport or illness. The importance that retailers offer a variety of different delivery methods is therefore essential. Consumers like to have options at their fingertips and this can have a direct impact on the retailer they choose to make their purchase from.

It is imperative in modern times that retailers attain a competitive stance in the market place in order to draw in and retain customers. Regardless of the product range, the retailers cannot afford to be complacent just because they think their consumables are popular. They may well be, however the current market place is extremely competitive in respect of the number of retailers selling the same (or similar) products. All retailers, shop based and ecommerce, must therefore strive to take advantage of their position and ensure they offer consumers what they want.

Below is a brief description of the different delivery methods available.

Click & collect

The simple concept of placing an order online and having the item(s) ordered delivered to a local depot for collection at a time & date that suits you.

Home delivery

The option which allows you to place your order(s) online and make arrangements for the item(s) to be delivered to your home and (in some cases) work address at a time & date that is convenient for you. However, dates & times are restricted by the retailers ‘time slot’ choices.

Two man delivery

This is generally used for the delivery of larger items, such as furniture or white goods. This also tends to offer the option for ‘room of choice’.

Locker system

Some online retailers such as Amazon now offer the option to have your order(s) delivered to a secure locker within your chosen location either via one-day or standard pickup. This process is simple and easily understood. The courier will deliver your item(s) to the selected location and you will then receive an email providing you with a unique code together with other details of the locker i.e. the address and opening times. You must then visit the locker within 3 working days to collect your items. Upon arrival at the locker you will need to enter the unique code or use a barcode scanning tool to open the locker.

An article, penned by Graham Charlton, former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy, discussed how far delivery services have come since the start of the ecommerce trade but pointing out that some retailers were not keeping up with the range of delivery services needed to suit their customers’ needs.

I have used an extract from that article below to indicate how vital offering the right delivery service is;

“As stats from a new Econsultancy Multichannel Retail Survey show, customers are demanding more flexibility in delivery options, and retailers need to offer this to increase conversions. 

The survey, conducted using the Toluna survey tool, found that 50% of respondents had abandoned a purchase online due to unsatisfactory delivery options.”

The figure of 50% would suggest that some retailers still have a lot of work to do in respect of their Ecommerce platforms and the delivery options they offer their client base. They need to individually provide a solution to fulfil all customer requirements to continue to adapt to ever-changing market trends.

More recently, a debate has ensued within the logistics industry in respect of drone deliveries and if this is a service which should be introduced or best left alone. Different companies have varying opinions on this subject mainly due to the safety concerns associated with drones in our skies. What are your thoughts on this subject?

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