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How to dominate delivery

Carve a competitive edge against your competitors
Ben Nowlan

With so much focus being placed on the product or service your business is selling, it’s easy to forget the importance of delivery to the overall shopping experience. Just think of your own personal experiences. It’s more than likely you've walked away from a purchase because of high delivery prices or limited delivery options. So how can your business implement an effective delivery model to carve a competitive edge and stand out from the crowd?

Delivery solutions are often put into the too hard basket and not made a priority, but businesses need to start shifting their mindset. Last mile delivery presents retailers with an opportunity to foster and nurture brand loyalty that leads to long term success and drives customer lifetime value. Just ask the 76% of consumers who view the end delivery experience as the true test of how much a company values them.

delivery experience seen as customer value

So how should retailers respond? And what are the tactics businesses can implement to deliver better shipping experiences which help decrease cart abandonment, increase sales and build customer retention?

Offer multilayered solutions 

Thanks to global players like Amazon, expectations around delivery have skyrocketed, particularly in the fashion, electronics and grocery industries. Customers now expect multiple delivery options. Although 86% of shoppers prefer free delivery, customers are willing to pay for convenience and choice. Offering a wide variety of delivery options helps build customer confidence and drives sales. That’s why in 2018, retailers need to think about last mile delivery as a multilayered solution.

delivery options

Click and collect

A great example of a retailer who offers a variety of delivery solutions to its customers is Walmart. Traditionally a player in the bricks and mortar space, Walmart has differentiated itself from competitors by offering a number of attractive delivery solutions. Through their click and collect proposition called Pickup Discount, the company offers markdowns on eligible, online-only items that you purchase via the website but pick up at your preferred store. A benefit of this scheme is increased foot traffic in store, giving the customer another channel to shop in. Additionally, Walmart Grocery allows customers to order online and have their groceries ready for pick up when it suits them, with no additional fees.

Same day delivery

Closer to home, Tesco has launched a same day delivery service on groceries charging between £3 and £9 for the service. Not only are customers offered a one-month free trial, they are also given multiple shipping options, including a ‘fixed 1hr slot’, a ‘flexi-saver slot’ and a click and collect selection. Tesco understands that in a category such as grocery, customers want to save time and are happy to pay a little extra for the service. And with 54% of UK shoppers abandoning cart due to limited shopping options and going to a competitor, Tesco’s multilayered delivery strategy is right on the money.  

right on the money

Minimum order on free shipping

Free shipping can be an expensive outlay for businesses but it’s also the number one driver of increasing shoppers e-commerce activity, so retailers need to get smarter about how they do it. Take the fashion retailer Topshop. It offers free standard shipping, which can take up to 4 working days, on orders over £50. A strategically chosen minimum order encourages customers to spend just a little more on each transaction in order to trigger free shipping. Despite the relative slow delivery time, the majority of customers are willing to overlook this because the service provided is free. 

free shipping

Free return shipping

Similarly, retailers can break away from their competitors by getting it right on returns. Convenient return options play a big role in driving e-commerce sales. 73% of customers expect free return shipping and 43% of customers would shop more online if it was offered. So brands like ASOS - who offer 7 return options via 4 different methods: mail, courier, parcel locker and in-store drop offs - are not only delivering customer satisfaction but more importantly, increasing customer retention.

does this look fabulous

Delivery extras

In industries where the average order value can be high – making sure your customer is confident of the safe delivery of your product is critical. UK home appliances and tech retailer, Currys PC, not only offers tracking on big ticket items but also sends customers a text with the approximate delivery time. By going the extra mile on delivery, retailers can instil confidence in their customers and increase sales conversions.

i love you

Key takeaways

Delivery is one of the essential elements of the e-commerce experience with cost and convenience playing a huge role in whether customers purchase from your website. It’s a no brainer then retailers should offer multiple delivery options to drive sales, customer life time value and decrease cart abandonment. So give your business a leg up and help differentiate itself from competitors through smart delivery solutions. 

james franco wink

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