As more and more of our shopping shifts online, being able to deliver goods to customers quickly is becoming of paramount importance.
The data backs this up. A survey by MarketingProfs in 2022 found that 53% of customers have cancelled or abandoned their purchase because the delivery was too slow. That’s a lot of money being lost, but that’s not the only issue – your delivery process has a direct impact on customer satisfaction, and customer loyalty.
In this article, we’ll be exploring how delivery times affect customers, how technology can help, and the strategies that can be used to achieve fast delivery times, whatever it is you’re selling.
Why Are Fast Delivery Times Important?
E-commerce has been around for years, but it’s only very recently that it’s exploded in popularity. Taking Amazon as an example, they delivered 15% of all packages in the UK in 2021. That’s the equivalent of 2 million items a day.
For many, shopping online is the default choice. It’s no wonder, then, that expectations about delivery times have continued to rise. Research from the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) shows that 90% of consumers see 2- to 3-day shipping as the baseline delivery promise, with anything slower falling below the bar.
Delivery times can also affect the customer’s experience with your business, both positively and negatively. 84% of consumers asked by Convery said that just one poor delivery experience with a brand would be enough to make them stop shopping with them entirely. On the other hand, research by Capgemini found that when consumers are satisfied with a delivery, 82% of them will recommend the brand to friends and family. To put it simply, delivery times can have a ripple effect on your business, long after the product has arrived with the customer.
The Role of Technology in Achieving Fast Delivery Times
Try as we might, no group of people can see every variable in a business at once. This is where technology comes in – and why it’s been such a boon for e-commerce.
Warehouse management systems not only let you pick stock more accurately from a warehouse, meaning deliveries are far less likely to be incorrect, but you can also ‘write off’ stock that is damaged. This means it can’t physically go into circulation to be sent to a customer – virtually eliminating the chance of a customer’s order being ruined by an item not being in the condition they expected.
Technology is also available to help streamline inventory management and order processing. These let you automate repetitive parts of your order management cycle, giving you the headspace to handle higher order volumes with less human error.
Strategies for Achieving Fast Delivery Times
With this technology in your back pocket, there are some practical strategies businesses can implement to perfect their delivery processes.
Route optimisation – Invest in systems that will help your drivers choose the best route to get to a customer quicker.
Signature software – Make the final part of the delivery process smoother, with no need for delivery notes and other paperwork.
Demand forecasting – Lets you see what dates could be busier for certain products, and plan accordingly.
Listen to customer feedback! – This is a simple strategy but can get lost in a race for profit. Your customers know their own pains best, so if they repeatedly bring up an issue, make sure to work it into your continuous improvement.
Not all issues with deliveries can be solved by the business themselves. Many are out of their control, from busy roads to busy seasons. However, customers have moved from seeing quick delivery – even same-day delivery – as an essential part of their online shopping experience, rather than a luxury. Only innovative solutions will allow e-commerce businesses to stand out to this crowd of consumer demand.
Looking to take your e-commerce business on the road to success?
Contact PKF Smith Cooper Systems today to learn more about our Sage software solutions.
Call us on 01332 959008 or use the enquiry form.
Interested to know more about our Sage solutions?
Call 01332 959008 or enquire online today
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