As consumers look for increasingly convenient online experiences, the quality of retailer’s delivery services could make or break them in 2019.
Retailers will need to focus on shortening delivery times and giving shoppers greater oversight and choice in pick-up and delivery if they want to thrive in the New Year, according to Andrew Buxton, CEO of e-commerce platform provider eStar.
Increased transparency around delivery times, faster deliveries and the rise of the sharing economy will all be key delivery trends in 2019, according to Mr Buxton.
Being candid about delivery times, and giving customers full oversight around the location of items and other elements of the delivery process is going to be the leading consumer demand in 2019, Mr Buxton says.
“What people really need is certainty of pickup and ease of pickup and you’ll see this in, for example, Click and Collect. While some Click and Collect is one hour or four hour, most Click and Collect orders are done over multiple days,” he says.
“Most consumers are more interested in the certainty of knowing an item is going to be in a particular spot at a particular time so I think that’ll grow and grow and will be linked to a lot more pick up locations so not just using own stores but using networks of other stores through technology.”
Fast, faster and fastest
Promising fast delivery turn-around is also essential this year, according to Mr Buxton, although full oversight of the delivery process is the most fundamental component of a good delivery offering.
“Shortening of lead times has been an ongoing asset with people like the Iconic reducing delivery times from 4 hour to shorter delivery times.”
The sharing economy
2019 will also see the rise of sharing economy delivery services like Uber Eats making their debut in the retail sector, Mr Buxton says.
“There’s going to be a lot more sharing, like we’ve see in Uber and stuff for food we’ll see that more in retail,” he says.
“We’ll have a whole bunch of people driving around Sydney and Melbourne who are available for pickups and deliveries and drop-offs. And may even get disaggregated into people who do pickups and deliveries – and a lot more sharing of vehicles. ”
And eventually, retail deliveries will be performed by autonomous vehicles. While Mr Buxton says that we’re still a few years off from this, he says it’s already started in the United States, signalling that the trend won’t be far off for Australia.
“I do think autonomous vehicles will become part of the delivery service. There’s a couple of those in the states. Not this year but it will happen eventually.”
Secrets to success
But the overall key to a successful delivery offering in 2019 is being across all of these trends, and not just focusing on one, Mr Buxton says.
“The tricky part is for a bigger brands is linking all these services together and being able to use a mixed mode of deliveries. Australia Post, DHL, local courier companies and Uber and to mix and match that with a consistent service method.”
“Ultimately though it’s all about consistency of delivery and shortening lead times, but consistency of delivery is much more important than shortening of the lead times.”