It’s no surprise that online retail has shifted the way that people view the traditional shopping experience. The capabilities of shopping online are truly endless. Online shoppers are able to safely and conveniently browse through countless amounts of products based on their unique features, prices and even other customer reviews. These capabilities have made way for an enormous growth in the industry over the past few years. In fact, in just 2019, online shopping expenditures were nearly $3.5 trillion globally, with over 1.9 billion people shopping online.
One of the largest contributors to this industry is Amazon. Many would say they’ve changed the way that other companies approach the online retailing space. Amazon offers nearly 12 million products on its marketplace, a majority coming from third-party sellers that have been approved by the platform. These products are scoured by just under 200 million people every month. This sort of impact is not going unfelt by other online retailers in the industry. As the expectations of shoppers continue to increase in regards to shipment speeds, more and more online retailers continue to struggle. Recent research indicated that nearly 9 in every 10 shoppers say that the shopping experiences they’ve had with Amazon have made them expect faster shipping and delivery speeds from other online retailers as well.
For online retailers that lack the resources that allow Amazon to ship and fulfill orders as quick as they do, this can be extremely bad news. Online retailers hoping to compete with Amazon should heed this expectation, and look for alternative methods to increase their fulfillment and shipment speeds for their customers, in addition to finding more innovative ways to keep them happy. For example, one way companies can accomplish this is through a branded shipment tracking page on their website. Rather than redirecting customers to different package handling domains, create a shipment tracking page on your website in order to improve brand recognition and the overall customer experience.
In addition to this, online retailers should also consider the convenience factor that their website offers in comparison to others. How simple is the ordering process on your website? Do you require new customers to create an account prior to ordering? Can these accounts save critical data and information like shipment and billing addresses for easier repeat purchases? Are there any sort of savings or coupons that come from creating an account? When elements like these are addressed or included in account creation, more customers will save time and will likely make repeat purchases.
Despite all research showing that the speed of shipping is one of the most important factors to online shoppers, what’s even more important is the cost associated with each shipment. Even if customers would prefer their packages to arrive within two days, they’d much rather wait if it means not having to pay for shipping at all. Knowing this, businesses should prioritize lowering shipping costs by any means necessary. One of the ways this is made possible is through an automated storage and retrieval system meant to help coordinating warehousing and transportation efforts for online businesses. Alternatively, businesses can always offer their customers the option of free shipping while disclosing that product shipment may be delayed as a result. For more information on how shipment speeds affect online shopping, check out the featured infographic below.
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.