It’s nearly impossible to deny the influence that online retail, or e-tail, has had on the way people think about shopping. As an alternative to visiting physical retail locations, shopping online provides customers with a safer and much more convenient experience. The functionality offered through online shopping has much more depth as well. Comparing products based on their unique features, customer reviews and price isn’t as easily accomplished in the store. The growth of this industry in recent years is actually quite impressive as well. Throughout 2019, nearly two billion online shoppers contributed to more than $3.5 trillion spent globally.
Of all the companies contributing to this space, the one with the most influence is Amazon. They’ve shaken up the online retailing atmosphere in a number of ways. One of the most impactful being their willingness to support third-party sellers on their platform. These sellers are part of the reason in which Amazon can offer nearly 12 million products to their 200 million customers per month. This can have an adverse effect on other retailers in the industry. Not only is it hard to keep up with Amazon’s product numbers, but it’s nearly impossible to keep up with their shipping capabilities.
As more and more customers continue to default to Amazon for their needs, more and more online retailers begin to feel the struggle. As nearly 90% of shoppers indicate that their Amazon shopping experience makes them expect similar shipping times from other online retailers. If your company is struggling to keep up online, it might be worth considering ways in which you can improve your shipping and delivery times.
There are certainly other, more overarching, ways in which you can improve the customer experience in regards to shipping as well. For example, consider a branded tracking page for your customers to stay up to date on their order’s status on your website. Also consider ways in which your website may be lacking in convenience. Think of how simple (or complicated) the new user experience is currently. Do first-time visitors have the ability to make an account immediately? Will these accounts retain payment and shipping information for future purchases? Prioritizing ways for customers to save time are the changes you should be making.
Not only is the speed in which orders arrive important to consumers. The cost associated with shipping is nearly equally as influential on a customer’s likelihood to purchase from your business. Nearly 70% of those online shoppers who prefer faster shipping times have indicated that they’d rather wait longer for their order if it means they don’t have to pay any shipping costs. If accelerating your delivery capabilities is out of the question, think of ways in which you can decrease shipping costs. For example, an automated storage and retrieval system meant to better coordinate warehousing and transportation efforts is an excellent start.
Author bio: John Hinchey is VP of Sales for Westfalia Technologies, Inc., a leading provider of logistics solutions for plants, warehouses and distribution centers. He has more than 20 years of experience in manufacturing and warehouse automation.