While retailers continually strive to deliver convenient shipping and fulfilment options to consumers, research indicates that there is still a disconnect between what they are providing and what consumers actually want.
For example, 77% of consumers have used or would like to use guaranteed weekend or after hours shipping, and 42% are willing to pay a premium for this shipping option. However, only 34% of all retailers offer this shipping option, according to the 2016 State of Shipping In Commerce report from Temando.
The disconnect is also apparent for options such as one- to three-hour shipping, same day shipping, picking up shipments in stores and the offering of a specified time slot for delivery:
61% of consumers want one- to three-hour shipping, with 31% willing to pay a premium for it. Only 20% of all retailers offer this option;
80% want same day shipping, with 55% willing to pay a premium for it. But 47% of retailers do not offer same day shipping;
82% wantto collect shipments from stores, with 37% willing to pay a premium for it. But half of all retailers don’t offer this option; and
76% want aspecified time slotfor delivery, with 37% willing to pay a premium for it. Only 43% of all retailers offer this option.
The more than 200 retailers surveyed indicated that increasing the number of shipping options at checkout helps increase sales, reduces cart abandonment, meets customer expectations, meets shipping deadlines and allows the retailer to ship to a wider geographical area.
Different Sizes, Different Challenges
A lack of total automation in many retail processes remains the culprit behind retailers’ inability to meet consumer demands. Only 28% of retailers have a fully automated process for booking couriers; 25% have automated warehouse management and only 17% automate their product returns.
The difficulties retailers have in shipping out products also can vary depending on company size. Enterprise-level retailers cited meeting customer expectations (38%) and inefficient supply chains (31%) as their top concerns, while small and micro-sized retailers each cited high courier rates (37%) as their chief concern. Shipping costs for smaller retailers that deal with tighter margins and lower volumes have a greater effect on their bottom lines than larger retailers’ net profits.