Setting up an ecommerce business is a fairly simple process that many are capable of doing, given the right products and motivation. If you have a phone, a useful product, and a steady internet connection, you can be in business quickly. This makes sense for a society that is doing more virtual business every day.
What also makes sense is that as more people enter the ecommerce sphere, the bar gets raised, and customer expectations rise with it.
Now, being present online isn’t enough to do business well. To truly succeed in ecommerce, providing quick delivery of your product is essential.
Just how important is it to provide speedy product delivery?
For one thing, it can make the difference between an abandoned cart and a completed purchase. Over 50% of customers under age 25 identify same-day shipping as the most important purchase driver.
That means if you don’t offer same-day shipping, but your competitor does, then you have a decent chance of repeatedly losing customers to your competition. Offering an option for same-day delivery gives businesses an advantage over a whopping 85% of competitors.
What’s more, over 60% of consumers expect fast delivery all the time. A recent survey from Retail Wire revealed that over 70% of consumers are not likely to do business with an online shop again if their first delivery experience was poor.
A measly 7.5% of consumers surveyed don’t take shipping dates into consideration when they’re making purchases.
How to Improve Ecommerce Delivery Speed
Now that we know how important consumers think fast delivery is when making a purchase, how do we improve our delivery speed for our own businesses?
1. Rely on third-party fulfillment.
Partnering with a third party can help achieve nationwide capabilities for fast delivery. This can be a great way to get results that you may not be capable of achieving on your own, especially if short-staffed.
2. Improve order picking efficiency.
Automating pick systems and conveyor systems for picking, loading, and unloading can take hours or even days off your delivery cycle. Automation is often the key to improving the speed and efficiency of various systems across your business.
3. Find more efficient shipping services.
Parcel shippers, LTL truck firms, USPS, and van delivery services often have different “sweet spots” in terms of what they can ship most efficiently. Do some research to find out if you are partnered with the right service.
4. Adjust inventory levels.
Try to make sure inventory is full enough to handle orders as they come so you don’t have to wait to send out a complete order. It’s easier to have control over this if you manufacture your own products. If you sell products made by others, work with your manufacturer to keep inventory levels up so your shipping timeline doesn’t take a hit.
5. Ship from multiple locations.
Since it isn’t possible to make same-day or next-day deliveries to every location in the U.S. from one location, consider establishing multiple shipping points. Branch warehouses strategically located throughout the country can help solve this problem.
When an e-commerce website is launched, it has the potential to reach a market the size of the entire U.S., or even the whole world. The problem is, exposing your company to a vast geographic area is far easier than delivering to all points within that geography overnight or the same day. And, without doing so, as the infographic points out, around 95% of your market will label you as slow.
Start-up companies need to become experts in rapid delivery — and they need to do this quickly. Established e-commerce companies need to consider new fulfillment strategies to shorten lead times without adding substantial cost. Rapidly growing e-commerce firms may have found that delivery solutions perfectly suitable six months ago are hopelessly out of date and inefficient today given their current volume of orders.
The infographic below from our colleagues at FMH Conveyors is essential reading for leadership and operations personnel in just about any type of e-commerce environment. Check it out for more information on how to improve delivery efficiency and keeping costs in line for faster delivery services.