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Will Same-Day Delivery ever be Standard?

September 23, 2015 Published by

The main advantage that brick-and-mortar stores have over ecommerce is that the customer receives their purchase immediately – there’s no waiting on shipping. This may soon be a thing of the past. New ways of thinking about logistics, technological advances (i.e. drones), and efforts from startups (e.g. Instacart or Postmates) and major companies (e.g. Amazon) alike could someday soon normalize next-day or same-day delivery.  [more]
If you’re considering a leap to the cutting edge logistics of same-day delivery, you may want to hold your horses. Sure, delivery speed can be a great way to differentiate your ecommerce site from competitors. But at what cost? And will your customers even care?

Boston Consulting Group released a survey of 1,500 customers that showed only 9% considered same-day delivery to be a “top factor that would improve their online shopping experience.” Another study from Forrester Research showed that 29% of consumers actually want same-day delivery. Methods aside, same-day delivery can only work when there is enough demand for it – and right now, it looks like the demand isn’t there. For a more concrete example, one only needs to look at the failures of Webvan, Kozmo.com, eBay Now, or Metro Post (a pilot program from USPS in San Francisco). Plus, same-day shipping is going to cost more, and shipping costs are a major factor of cart abandonment.

On the other hand, a lack of participation was only one factor contributing to those failures. And do those studies represent your customers? As we mentioned in the beginning of this post, the industry is making moves toward same-day shipping, so demand may increase. Listen to your customers closely, and work with your delivery partners to find an optimal solution that balances speed and cost. Someday, consumer demand, shipping cost, and feasibility may all line up – turning same-day shipping into a major opportunity for your ecommerce business.