A survey of surveys 2016: home delivery and time-windows

Sondaggi 2016: consegne a domicilio per eCommerce e finestre orarie.

Christmas is approaching fast and it’s time to take a bird’s eye look at this year’s notable trends in home delivery. To do this we selected some of the most interesting surveys published in the last six months, dealing with last-mile, from both the customer’s and retailer’s perspectives.

These studies are: Retail Week Connect and Metapack’s “Bridging the Delivery Gap”; JDA & Centiro “Customer’s Pulse Europe Report 2016”; Accenture “Differentiating Delivery – Winning the eCommerce Battle”; McKinsey&Company “Parcel Delivery – The Future of Last Mile”; eTail Delivery & Pitney Bowes “European Online Delivery” and Descartes “Home Delivery Benchmark Study 2016”.

The first piece of data to raise a round of applause here at Milkman comes from the Accenture study, where it writes that among retailers a staggering 69% have indicated time-windows delivery as its “most wanted” new feature, winning over push notifications about ETA (we do that) and two-way communication between delivery provider and customer (we do that too!).

This interest marks, in our view, the first little step in a potential turning point from speed-first to “knowing exactly when” (and possibly be entitled to decide) which, we bet, will be true innovation in customer-centric services of the future.

JDA’s has found out that in Europe at least 19% of the shoppers interviewed are ready to exceed the minimum order value for time-windows. This desire comes third, after the fashionable same-day and the widespread next-day deliveries.

And yet 70% of customers, according to McKinsley’s report, still go for the cheapest option of delivery, followed by the 23% who look for same-day and 5% interested in time-windows.

In their words: “20 to 25% of consumers would pay significant premiums (up to €3 and $3) to receive their items on the same day. However, only ~ 2% of all consumers are willing to pay much more than that for instant delivery (assuming the consumer would have to bear the additional cost of this extremely fast service)”. The survey was conducted over 4500 interviews in USA, China and Germany.

Delivery to home remains in firm control over parcel lockers: “Somewhat surprisingly, unattended delivery, e.g., to parcel lockers, does not really appeal to consumers despite the possibility of picking up their parcel 24/7. Only if home delivery were to cost €3 (or $3) more than a pickup at the parcel locker, about 50 percent of respondents would prefer to use parcel lockers – emphasizing again the high-value consumers assign to home delivery”.

Facilitating defined delivery windows registers a stunning third place as an investment priority for eCommerces, coming after better responsiveness of front/back-end systems and the need for new software/technology. This according to Metapack’s survey, targeted at UK’s retailers.

Pitney Bowles remarks that there was a drop of 25% in UK’s retailers who provide delivery options, between 2015 and 2016, with maximum percentual raises allocated to free deliveries given to those who buy over a certain amount of goods.

That’s probably because over 60% of those who abandon a shopping cart do that because the cost of shipping is too high or because they’re not eligible for free shipping (according to Temando). And yet almost 30% do not buy because delivery is too slow or “inconvenient”, a huge slice of the market. It’s important also to remark that delivery costs should be displayed early on and clearly, because their absence at the last minute in the shopping cart drives away an average of 40% of customers.

68% of European shoppers consider to likely change retailer after a poor delivery experience.

36% of them have already experienced finding the much-feared missed delivery card despite being home. 45% suffered from late delivery.

Needless to say that both issues could be cured by good use of time-windows and two-way communication.

Descartes’ study brings us more comforting notions: people are willing to pay for a 2 hour delivery window double than what they pay for a 4 hour one. Performance levels, moreover, drop by only 1-2% passing from all-day deliveries and 2-4 hour window deliveries.

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