Amazon, eBay, Shopify and even Etsy would all have you believe that fast delivery is the secret sauce of successful online selling. But is it? According to a recent survey by parcel data management platform, NetDespatch, just 3% of shoppers want same-day delivery, and only 29% want next-day. That leaves an overwhelming 62% of shoppers happy waiting between 2 – 5 day for this online shopping.
But, if fast delivery isn’t the be-all and end-all for online shoppers, what is?
What shoppers want
In discussing the highs and lows of online shopping deliveries, NetDespatch found that while online shoppers weren’t necessarily concerned with fast deliveries, they did feel passionate about other delivery best practices, namely:
An astonishing 91% of shoppers say that having an accurate delivery slot is important to them – showing that setting expectations of speed is better than exceeding them.
And this makes sense. It’s far more useful to have both the time and knowledge to arrange someone to be in when the postman delivers, rather than having to re-arrange a next-day delivery because no one was about.
Even more important to online shoppers is receiving an order confirmation. Ninety-six per cent of shoppers rate order confirmations as important, and, if you think about it, it’s really a no-brainer.
Order confirmations give shoppers the peace of mind that their order has been received, their product has been reserved, and everything is being processed accordingly. And, they allow sellers to say thank you, cross-sell and build a relationship.
And, finally, there have been numerous studies that show shoppers much prefer a freebie (free shipping) than a quickie (next-day delivery).
Free shipping allows consumers to spend more of their budget on physical items, rather than receiving items.
Is fast shipping still important?
But, before you cancel the postie and welcome back the horse and cart, fast shipping is still crucial to your success online.
This research focuses on customer happiness to wait 2 – 5 days for delivery; it doesn’t recognise the other benefits to be had from delivering items speedily.
First, we have competition. Online retail is hugely competitive, and retailers are doing all they can to stand out. While price wars are profit-damaging and unsustainable, fast shipping can help you to stand out and increase sales at the same time.
And, while customers may be ok to wait for items, when it comes down to deciding between two identical retailers, fast shipping may be the perk that sets you apart.
Fast shipping programs
Then we have fast shipping programs. Fast shipping programs such as Amazon Prime and eBay Guaranteed Delivery aren’t just for customer benefit.
By meeting the shipping speed metrics to qualify for these programs, you can increase your visibility in the search results, chances of winning the buy box, and overall sales performance.
The logical part of a shopper’s brain may be happy to save money and wait for a delivery, but the subconscious part of the brain wants that item as quickly as possible.
Fast shipping appeals to the subconscious’ need for immediate gratification and risk aversion – and that’s what pushes the “buy” button.
And finally, customer service. Customers like to feel special – it’s why unboxing experiences are a thing, why reward programs are so popular and why the customer journey is one of the most talked-about things in eCommerce.
Delivering items quickly, accompanied by timely tracking information and order confirmation makes your customers feel cared about. And that’s what we all want.
Expandly eCommerce management software allows you to manage the complexities of fast shipping and tracking updates easily, from one simple dashboard.
See for yourself with a free demo.