With delivery options ever-evolving, delivery costs reducing and the speed from click to parcel growing ever shorter, ecommerce retailers have managed to overcome a lot of the natural objections to buying online.
As we begin a new decade, technological advancements continue to improve the process of getting parcels to your customers as well as how they are able to buy. Here we examine what matters for ecommerce delivery in 2020 and beyond.
1. Ecommerce delivery options
Ecommerce retailers are now in a position to offer their customers a selection of delivery options including next day and, in some cases now, same-day delivery.
With convenience as important to many consumers as speed itself (Capgemini reporting in 2019 that 73% of consumers said that receiving the delivery in a convenient time slot is more important than receiving it quickly), the ability to offer flexible slots, within 1 or 2 hour windows is going to play an increasingly important role in the success of ecommerce deliveries.
Click and collect is another great delivery option for those seeking flexibility. Ampersand report that 79% of retailers offer a free in-store click and collect service without the need for a minimum spend, most likely reducing costs by using their existing delivery network.
And, whilst deliveries to an alternate address have existed for many years, there is a growing trend aimed at meeting the demand for 24/7 deliveries to offer in-car deliveries. For example, using connected technologies allows delivery drivers to open a car’s boot and drop off a parcel whilst the recipient remains at work. Retailers such as Amazon suggest that technology like Amazon Key (where guests and delivery personnel can enter a property without the homeowner being present) could be rolled out for people’s homes or other places to avoid missed deliveries.
Whatever delivery options are on the table, the crucial measure of success that consumers will apply is the ability of retailers to keep their delivery promises. For their purchases to arrive when and where they specified. Getting a delivery address right first time by making use of address verification tools will be the enabler for gold standard delivery.
Personalisation is a trend from last year that is set to continue into 2020 and beyond. Ecommerce retailers are using location technology to provide exact delivery information - tailored to the customer and their location. For example, Amazon utilise the IP address of your device in order to establish availability of stock in the locality and then provides a specific indication of when an order needs to be placed to guarantee delivery slots.
Of course, once an order is placed, retailers are also able to stay in touch with specific details about expected delivery times. Whether it is by SMS or digital maps, customers can keep an eye on their package as it weaves its way to them. Geocode technology can be used to let customers know expected times of delivery with planned journeys and times.
Personalising delivery eliminates the uncertainty which often surrounds ecommerce delivery and is of course much more customer-centric. Retailers wanting to keep ahead of the trend will continue to get closer to the customers they serve.
3. Managing returns
With greater choice of times and locations for deliveries as well as lower delivery costs retailers are likely to see increases in returns. Returns are a particular problem for online retailers, according to Paazl. While returns rates to stores are around 8%, this jumps to around 25% for items bought online. The leading items for returns are clothing, with retailers like ASOS having to make adjustments to their returns policy to mitigate those who ‘wear and return’.
It’s important that you consider your returns policy. Customers value the ability to return unwanted goods and a quick and easy returns policy increases trust and encourages customers to buy more.
60% of online shoppers will think twice about shopping with you again if they need to return something. According to MetaPack ‘72% of customers said they were either “likely” or “somewhat likely” to shop more with a retailer that made the returns process easier.
At Loqate we work with some of the worlds leading retail brands to help them ensure customer expectations are met when it comes to ecommerce delivery. Take a look at some of our customer stories to learn more.