As ecommerce continues to gain ground against traditional brick-and-mortar retailers, the competition is rough, and companies are looking for simple ways to come out on top. In today’s world, one of the most important benefits an ecommerce-based retailer can offer is true next-day shipping. If you haven’t considered it in the past, now is the time to start. Here’s why.
Typical Next-Day Delivery
When consumers who shop online see “next-day delivery” as a shipping option, they believe that if they order the product now, they’ll receive it the next day – tomorrow. Unfortunately, this is not always how it works. Many retailers claim to offer next-day delivery but include myriad terms and conditions in fine print to tell their customers that products may show up in two or three days, instead.
Many online retailers only offer next-day delivery on weekdays; weekends do not count. When a consumer orders a product on a Friday morning, it may not arrive until late Monday afternoon. Should the consumer order the product on a Friday afternoon, he or she may be forced to wait until the following Tuesday for the item. This is very misleading to consumers, and companies who mislead their customers, even unintentionally, risk damaging their reputations.
True Next-Day Delivery
True next-day delivery, on the other hand, ensures that your customers really receive their products the day after they order. If that customer orders on a Friday, he or she would receive the item on a Saturday. Though you will certainly pay more to ship items to customers on Saturdays, the ability to fulfill your promise to your customers will pay for itself every single time.
It’s also important to consider cutoff times and what they can mean for customers. Even Amazon relies on cutoff times for its free two-day Prime shipping; it tells customers to order within the next few hours or minutes in order to guarantee delivery on a specific day. The later the cutoff time, the happier the customer. Nevertheless, it’s important that you ensure your logistics or order fulfillment partner has the resources for such promises before you make them.
Why Outsourcing Order Management is the Way to Go
Next-day delivery is tricky for many retailers. An item goes through several steps before it finds itself in a customer’s mailbox. It must be picked in the warehouse, packed into a box, processed for shipping, picked up by the carrier, transferred through hubs, and find its way onto a delivery vehicle before it can land on the customer’s doorstep. This is a lot to process, and it’s almost impossible to do when different aspects of the supply chain are located in different areas. Companies that outsource much of their order fulfillment and warehousing are far more successful with true next-day shipping since everything takes place in the same location.
The ability to offer true next-day shipping can set your company apart from its competitors in today’s fast-paced world. Consumers want and often expect instant gratification, and when it comes to online shopping, next day is as good as it gets for many of them.