eCommerce

Affordability and Speed Top of eCommerce Fulfillment List

While online shopping continues to grow at an exponential rate, there are some bumps in the virtual road. According to a new survey, “The Everyday Essentials of Successful eCommerce Fulfillment," by Radial, over a third of global online shoppers, 39.7%, report challenges receiving their online orders and that issues tied to cost and speed were the biggest factors impacting satisfaction. 

Notably, Millennials who grew up during the age of eCommerce, surveyed more critically than older shoppers who may still consider online retail a luxury.

Across all regions, respondents reported more than a 12% disparity in satisfaction between 18-24 year olds and those individuals older than 55. 

"Fulfillment is one of the biggest elements impacting customer experience today but unfortunately many businesses still approach it as an afterthought," said Sean McCartney, executive vice president of Operations Services, Radial.

"To execute a successful door-to-door strategy, companies must shift their mindset to be channel agnostic, offer seamless execution and real-time communication across any commerce medium,” added McCartney. “It is essential to create a solid foundation through an integrated eCommerce framework that taps resources like artificial intelligence and machine learning to optimize delivery processes and deliver savings straight to the consumer."

With affordability and speed as a reoccurring theme across all aspects of the fulfillment cycle, it's clear that retailers must take steps to ensure these offerings are not compromised as they build out their larger strategy. Things like environmentally-friendly packaging and location customization serve as nice-to-haves but should only be considered as supplementary benefits.

The study explored a variety of elements that impact the delivery process, including cost, location, communications and more. Highlights from the study, include:

  • In the United States, 33.5% of 18-24-year-olds reported frustration that it took too long to receive their online orders. This same group contended, at 20.6%, that high costs for priority delivery were not worth the convenience and 12.6% were concerned about their items being stolen.
  • Respondents across all ages and regions (74.9% for the U.S., 58.1% U.K., 62.3% Canada) prefer that their packages are delivered to their doorstep rather than options like providing access to their home, using a locker with a private access code or having a nearby proxy signer.
  • When it came to order status communications, most respondents expressed the need for proactive updates on the status of their order throughout the entire shipping process (44.1% for the U.S., 45.6% U.K., 41.6% Canada).
  • The largest percentage of respondents, an average of 36.8%, across all three locations prefer retailers that ship goods in environmentally-friendly packaging; with Millennials and Baby Boomers skewing the results in favor.
  • While convenience is a priority, only a small percentage of Americans (8.7%) said they would consider automated delivery if it was based on IoT tracking devices, but when the data was cut further, it was evident that Millennials are most willing to consider using emerging technology (35.2%) to order their packages based on need.
    Nearly half of all respondents said they choose to pick up some of their goods ordered online in the store. The numbers were especially high in the U.K. (54%), followed by Canada (40.7%) and the U.S. (37.7%).
  • For those consumers who did opt for in-store pick-up, the biggest reason was to avoid expensive shipping costs (36.7%) followed by matters of convenience/delivery time (29.8%). Customers in Canada (34.7%) and the U.K. (45%) ranked convenience/delivery time first followed by concerns about shipping costs.

With affordability and speed as a reoccurring theme across all aspects of the fulfillment cycle, it's clear that retailers must take steps to ensure these offerings are not compromised as they build out their larger strategy. Things like environmentally-friendly packaging and location customization serve as nice-to-haves but should only be considered as supplementary benefits.

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