Plane flying over shipping vessel

As one-day and even same-day shipping becomes the norm for online shoppers, retailers are hard-pressed to keep up. Whether consumers are shopping for themselves or for others, a situation in which last-minute purchases are common, the reality of those shifting expectations presents significant logistical issues. And an overhaul of a retailer’s end-to-end supply chain with same-day fulfillment in mind almost certainly comes at the cost of eroded profitability.

Rather than compete with the giants of retail, which is an uphill battle for many, our CEO Roy Erez poses in a recent Forbes article that retailers should invest in digital fulfillment solutions that place an emphasis on instant digital delivery and delight.

And why not? Doesn’t instant delivery that is personalized, digital, and experiential beat an anomalous brown box on your doorstep 24 hours from now?

Delivery man walking down the block with boxes

Here’s a rundown of key lessons retailers should pay attention to as the definition of “faster shipping” rapidly moves toward “instantaneous delivery.”

1. How fast is fast enough?

A famous quote often attributed to Henry Ford reads, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said, ‘Faster horses.’” Although Ford may never have actually said that, the point is that business innovations often represent another step along a path a company is already traveling, rather than a response to a specific customer trend a company has identified or a growing demand.

For a majority of retailers, offering one-day or same-day shipping may be a necessity in the future — but it’s not a sustainable, achievable option today, when the winners and losers are being defined.

Which leads us to a new way of thinking about solving for this consumer trend…

2. Rethinking delivery as separate from shipping

Consumers don’t necessarily think of delivery and shipping in the same context retailers do. Forward-thinking retailers will recognize the opportunity to “deliver” goods immediately via a high-quality digital experience before they’re shipped physically as a means of matching strength and even improving upon next- or same-day delivery options.

Decoupling the shipping process from the product delivery experience in such a way allows companies to manage shipping costs while still providing the opportunity to connect more closely with customers. And consumers benefit by enjoying instant fulfillment and then delight and excitement when the physical items arrive on their doorstep a few days later.

Faster horses aren’t the only solution.

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Learn more about how you can compete with same-day shipping offerings by delivering gifts digitally with GiftNow within minutes

This blog post summarizes an article that originally appeared in Forbes on July 22, 2019.

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