Consumers are becoming conditioned to expect instant gratification. They want to receive their online orders whenever, wherever and however they want. 80% of online shoppers indicate that they prefer to receive their online orders within a day. 61% of online shoppers want to receive their packages even faster, preferably within 1-3 hours of placing an order.
Same-day delivery combines the convenience of online shopping with the instant gratification that consumers are accustomed to when buying a product in a physical store, bringing the online shopping experience closer to the offline shopping experience. By offering this fast delivery service, you can improve customer satisfaction, boost loyalty and thus increase your online sales. However, it can be difficult and costly to offer same-day delivery services. In this blog, we explain how you can successfully implement same-day delivery to your online store
First of all, it is important to check whether it makes sense for your online store to offer same-day delivery. It depends on the type of products, your customers, the market situation and the costs whether it is interesting to add same-day delivery as a delivery option to your business process:
- The type of product. Same-day delivery works best for products that consumers want to receive quickly: products with a certain urgency
- The market situation. When your competition offers same-day delivery, you will have to offer a similar customer experience.
- Your target audience. The younger your store`s target audience is, the more likely they are to expect faster delivery options.
- Costs. When items are shipped from a central warehouse, same-day delivery incurs higher costs than traditional delivery options. You can pass these extra costs on to the consumer, but this may mean that consumers are no longer willing to shop with you. A better option is to ship items from locations in close proximity to the consumer.
Secondly, it is important to ship your online orders in close geographic proximity to the consumer. This makes it possible to ship items at relatively low costs. Shipping in close proximity to the consumer can be achieved by implementing a ship-from-store fulfilment strategy, or by using dark stores or micro-fulfilment centres.
- Ship-from-store. Ship-from-store is a fulfilment process where retailers use stock from their brick-and-mortar store estate to fulfil (online) orders. Instead of using centralized distribution centres, the physical store is used as a small distribution centre, to support the digital platform. Fulfilling orders this way turns the store into a virtual hub and ensures that orders are sent smoothly and quickly to the consumer, because stores are in close proximity to the consumers’ homes.
- Dark stores. The term ‘dark store’ refers to a miniature warehouse-adjacent space that caters exclusively for online shopping. This can be an existing store during non-function hours or a separate location. Using a dark store is similar to ship-from-store, except that the store with ship-from-store is still in use for shoppers. A dark store is located in close geographic proximity to the consumer, which makes for easy pick-up and/or fast delivery.
- Micro-fulfilment centres. An alternative to ship-from-store and dark stores are micro-fulfilment centres. Micro-fulfilment centres are small warehouses with a smaller footprint than traditional distribution centres and are often located in accessible urban locations, close to where the consumers live. Because they are in close proximity to the consumer, they support to fulfil online orders fast and efficiently. Some of these micro-fulfilment centres are stand-alone warehouses and others are occupying spaces that are already part of the urban landscape, such as vacant retail premises or parts of office buildings
Thirdly, it is important that when you offer same-day delivery, you actually deliver the same day and within the specified time slot. This may be obvious, but it is important that consumers know where they stand. To keep consumers in the loop you can add real-time order tracking to your same-day delivery process. Real-time tracking allows consumers to track their order delivery and see the status of the order. As a result, they know exactly when the order was shipped, where the order is at that time and when it will arrive
Finally, it is important to educate your employees. Make sure your employees know and understand well how your same-day delivery process works, long before implementing it. The simpler and more logical the new system is for your staff, the better the results. If you work with a third party for delivery, make sure your employees know your logistics partner and the people who work there. This creates a streamlined process.
Same-day or faster delivery is becoming a must-have feature for most online businesses. By keeping the above four factors in mind when implementing same-day delivery to your online store, you increase the chance to improve the delivery experience and to boost customer satisfaction.