Consumer Study: 63% Of Online Shoppers Expect Three-Day Delivery As Standard

Shoppers are looking beyond cost when making e-Commerce purchasing decisions, according to the 2018 Consumer Trends Report from Kibo. While price is still the most important factor for 61% of shoppers, its share has fallen from 70% in 2017. At the same time, a small but growing portion of shoppers rate other factors as more important:

  • Speed of fulfillment (8%, up from 2%);
  • Online shopping experience: (8%, up from 4%); and
  • Variety of fulfillment options: (7%, up from 4%).

Flexibility and speed are particularly important purchase influencers: 40% of shoppers say taking more than two days for delivery would prevent them from making a purchase, while 63% expect delivery within three days as the standard. Making a variety of delivery options visible early in the shopper journey also is important: 76% of shoppers say having multiple fulfillment options influences their purchasing decision, up from 64% in 2017. The findings are similar to the results of the Retail TouchPoints 2018 Last Mile Survey, which reported that 65% of consumers want greater shipment flexibility and 61% want faster deliveries.

“What we’ve been seeing is a shift towards convenience and a shift towards the experience portion of the buying cycle,” said Tushar Patel, CMO at Kibo in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “As a consumer, the importance of the experience with my retailer, the experience I have online and the experience of receiving my items have gone up compared to price being the major factor.”

Usage of buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) services remains strong, and more than 66% of shoppers have chosen this option in the past six months. Avoidance of shipping fees is the most common reason, cited by 86% of shoppers, up from 79% in 2017. Other top reasons include:

  • Flexible pick-up times (85%, up from 78%);
  • The ability to touch and try merchandise (77%, up from 68%); and
  • Saving time at the store (76%, up from 71%).

When Shoppers Have A Product In Mind, They Visit Retailer Sites First

The most popular first stops for customers still researching brands or products are either a search engine (69%) or Amazon (61%). However, when a shopper knows what product and brand they want, 65% prefer going directly to a retailer’s web site. Other common destinations include:

  • A major retail store (47%);
  • A branded manufacturer’s web site (31%); and
  • An online marketplace (27%).

 

In comparison, when a shopper has a product in mind, but not a brand, their preferred channels are:

 

  • A retailer’s web site (66%);
  • A major retail store (41%);
  • An online marketplace (26%); and
  • A branded manufacturer’s web site (25%).

 

Retailers can use search engine optimization (SEO) to attract consumers to their web sites, but more work is needed to turn those visits into purchases. Approximately 87% of shoppers are influenced by peer reviews, and 91% have relied on reviews to make a purchasing decision in the past six months.

 

While 74% of shoppers are still somewhat, very or extremely influenced by interactive content that informs them about a product, that total is down from 92% in 2017. However, this doesn’t mean interactive content is becoming less important; rather, it indicates that shoppers need information to be tailored to them to drive engagement.

 

“When you’re catering to an individual’s intent and behaviors and their preferences, that’s when you’re really going to get the engagement,” said Patel. “What we’ve seen for retailers, and manufacturers as well, is when they’re driving individualized interactive content, that’s when you can get the most bang for your buck.”

 

Home Page Personalization Influences 63% Of Shoppers

 

Personalization can have a significant impact on purchasing decisions, but the most effective methods are changing. Approximately 63% of shoppers have been influenced by personalized recommendations on a homepage, down from 88% in 2017, while 50% of shoppers have been influenced by shopping cart recommendations, down from 93%. The influence of personalization is rapidly growing on the product page itself: 64% of consumers are influenced by recommendations there, up from 19% in 2017.

 

These results imply that many shoppers already know what they want by the time they visit a retailer’s web site and are skipping directly to the purchase. Retailers must make sure the checkout process remains simple even as they add personalization at the tail end of the buying journey: 78% of consumers say a simple, streamlined shopping cart influences their completion of a purchase.

 

“If you see what’s happening with mobile, see what’s happening with voice-enabled devices, experience is key,” said Patel. “No one buys on Alexa because it’s necessarily a cheaper way of doing it, but because the experience of buying is frictionless. Consumers are going to go towards the most friction-free way to shop whenever they’re given the option.”

 

The Race Is On: 43% Of Consumers Expect ‘Much Faster’ Deliveries In 2018

As retailers race to speed up deliveries of online orders, consumers’ expectations also are increasing rapidly. An even bigger concern: consumers’ negative experiences with e-Commerce deliveries have shot up this year, and they are not receiving same-day delivery options in many of the categories where they would most like to use them.

The third annual survey of shopping and delivery expectations from Dropoff, a 24-hour same-day delivery service currently operating in 18 cities in eight states, found that 43% of consumers expect companies to have “much faster” delivery times in 2018, up from 35% in 2017.

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How Retailers Get The Last Mile Wrong

0aaElizabeth Shobert StyleSageThe last mile. The final stretch where nothing and everything can go wrong. For retailers, that last mile is an oft under-considered part of the customer journey that can ultimately drag down their bottom line and chip away at customer equity in ways that aren’t immediately apparent. So let’s talk about retail’s last mile problem, as manifested in both the online and offline worlds.

I Don’t Like Surprises

You’ve made all that effort to lure a shopper to your site, merchandise and optimize it based on their needs and behaviors, ensure seamless product selection and checkout, and that’s it. Now you can sit back and watch that order make its way to the customer, right? Not so fast. While it might seem like the lion’s share of the work has been completed on your end, this is only the start of the journey for the customer. And if you don’t play that anticipation right with regularly-cadenced communications and follow-through with on-time delivery, you will have hell to pay.

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Amazon Key Gets Deliveries Off The Front Porch

Amazon is determined to get its foot in the door of customers’ homes — even when the homeowner isn’t there. The new Amazon Key service combines the Amazon Cloud Cam with smart lock technology to provide couriers with unattended access to Amazon Prime members’ homes.

Available beginning November 8, the service uses the Internet-linked camera, which “talks” to the smart lock over Zigbee, a wireless protocol used by many home devices. When couriers arrive with a package, they scan a barcode that sends a request to Amazon’s cloud. The cloud grants permission for entry by sending a message back to the camera, which then begins recording. The couriers receive a prompt on their app that allows them to unlock the door. After leaving the package, the courier relocks the door via the app. Customers receive a notification that their delivery has arrived, along with a short video showing the drop-off process.

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Winning The Last Mile: Controlling Costs While Satisfying Consumers

The “last mile” of retail — fulfillment, delivery, returns and post-purchase services — has become the latest competitive arena for winning sales and customer loyalty. If retailers fail to meet customer expectations with a delivery or product installation, it’s highly unlikely that shoppers will give them a second chance.

But while retailers are competing for customer loyalty, they are faced with rising costs around deliveries as well as returns, another critical element of the last mile. And passing these costs along to customers is not an option. Today’s consumers expect free or low-cost shipping.

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NRF 2017 Preview: A Big-Picture View Of The Big Show

Richard BransonNew York City’s Javits Center will bulge with 33,000 attendees and more than 500 exhibitors from Jan. 15-17, all in town for the NRF Big Show 2017. The visitors, representing more than 3,300 retail companies, will be there to visit two Expo Hall levels totaling more than 235,000 square feet, as well as the educational sessions led by the 300+ speakers.

The keynote address, on Monday, Jan. 16 from 9 to 10 am, will be delivered by Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin brand. In a “fireside chat” format with The Container Store Co-Founder and Chairman Kip Tindell, Sir Richard will discuss Undying Brand Engagement in an Age of Continuous Disruption and Reinvention.

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Rain, Sleet, Snow Or Haboob: How FedEx Meteorology Delivers

1-FEDEX-meteorologistsOn any given day somewhere above the world, at least one, and as many as 250, FedEx Express jets are flying toward their destinations. A team of aircraft dispatchers, meteorologists, technicians and other hardworking team members are monitoring conditions all over the world so the shipments they’re carrying arrive when and where they’re needed. Retailers know how important delivery is when it comes to the last mile, but they may not realize just how difficult that last mile may sometimes be to traverse.

Headquartered at FedEx’s nerve center — the Global Operations Control Center (GOCC) in Memphis, Tenn. — the 15-person meteorology team is the largest in-house department of its kind in the express cargo industry, and is the second-largest staff among all U.S. airlines. The team helps packages get delivered, rain or shine, snow, sleet or even a haboob (a rolling dust wall that can reach 3,000 feet high). In a world of shifting weather patterns and unpredictable events, how does FedEx Express oversee and direct 672 aircraft and 44,000 vehicles?

One critical way the department works is by tracking the location of every FedEx airplane currently in the sky, and working with the GOCC team to reroute when necessary.

“Our operational forecasters are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and hold daily weather briefings that help operations team leaders plan appropriately,” said Kory Gempler, Manager, Weather Services at FedEx in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “For example, if a big storm is coming, some flights and packages may be rerouted to other airports and areas to avoid delays.”

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Keep Brand Equity Consistent Through The New Last Mile

0abryanwyattchainalyticsRemember when e-Commerce was seen as a platform that was really only useful for commodities like electronics and books? Nobody was going to buy apparel online because they can’t touch it or try it on first — the very notion of selling clothes or shoes online seemed preposterous! Right? Yeah, those days are long in the rear view mirror for your customers, too — many are not old enough to remember them at all. Today’s customers expect that everything and anything can be bought online and shipped directly to their homes.

What about retailers that sell merchandise that is too expensive or impossible to ship with traditional parcel carriers? Customers are buying refrigerators, large furniture and ride-on lawnmowers online, but retailers can’t send them through UPS or FedEx. The last mile between distribution centers and customers for bulky items is challenging because there is no simple solution that is scalable across geographies. Retailers dealing in this type of merchandise have to become supply chain experts, managing a portfolio of regional and local carrier partners.

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Suitsupply Takes A Disruptive Approach To Personalized Retailing

The men’s apparel category in the U.S. has been commonly associated with highly promotional pricing and traditional marketing. TV, radio and print ads with “buy 1-get 1” suit offers have almost become the expected engagement route for many menswear brands.

However, a growing retail brand out of Holland is quickly rewriting the rules for connecting with and servicing men’s apparel customers across channels and devices.

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