delivery man on bicycle

The role of Delivery in driving the Retail Customer Experience

Delivery services are an integral element in the e-commerce industry. From Amazon to Walmart to Kroger to the mid-size and smaller retailers, are enhancing their purchase delivery options.

Some of the enhancements today include two-day, same day, two-hour, and kiosk pickup in and outside the store, and these are slowly becoming the norm. Amazon even offers a package drop service inside the home or even inside car trunks!

Some other announcements included two-day free delivery for its Whole Foods grocery customers in 3 different cities across the USA. Earlier this year, Target debuted Target Restock – announcing next-day delivery service where customers could order living essentials as late as 7 pm for the next-day delivery. This was done with the aim of reducing shopping inconvenience and making life easier for customers.

What is driving the delivery evolution

These enhancements are being driven by the quest to provide the best customer experience and meet the consumer expectation. Delivery is no longer just “e-commerce to home”, it is now a complex piece of the omnichannel ecosystem. There are new technologies and platforms to enable shipments from stores, lowering costs for retailers and greatly expediting delivery for customers.

Many retailers are even strategically partnering with distributors for overnight drop shipments. Leveraging this, they can carry less inventory and still be able to offer the customers with more choice. Enhanced delivery channels drive a satisfied customer experience and boost sales.

A customer experience differentiator

Waiting for a week for the purchases is becoming a thing of the past and customers are increasingly opting for faster delivery options over higher discounts.

Given all the delivery developments happening across the retail sector, it’s clear that the delivery is as critical as pricing and a viable strategy making the retail experience a simple and seamless process. With instant gratification becoming the norm, consumers are increasingly expecting the same out of material goods and services at any time of day as well.

While “free” has always been an important factor, the new customer expectation is shifting towards custom tailor delivery and the ability to change the delivery location. Customers also are increasingly expecting detailed tracking and also expect to tailor the delivery location and hours once the package leaves the distribution center.

Looking ahead

Delivery is an important factor in the space of consumer experience and is expected to only become a greater force in the retail customer experience.

With the newer delivery options coming in, delivery and pick up package options outside normal store hours will become the front-runners. This gives the choice to the customer to pick up or drop off packages at a time that is comfortable and convenient to them, instead of them having to rush to make it to the location before it closes.

There are positive predictions towards significant growth in delivery strategies in the near future as consumers, and retailers, strive to provide the ultimate streamlined pick-up experience.

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