CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly
November 18, 2017
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Survey: online shoppers demand visibility as well as speed in delivery

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More than 45 percent of shoppers have abandoned a retailer because of poor order transparency, 3PL says.

Online retailers need to go beyond same-day shipping and provide improved tracking and visibility during fulfillment in order to keep customers coming back, a study finds.

Fast delivery is only one factor that keeps shoppers returning to the same website, according to the "Dotcom Distribution eCommerce Packaging Study 2016." The survey asked 558 online shoppers how the entire delivery process affected their brand loyalties.

The results showed that next-day delivery is only a starting point; consumers also demand transparency throughout the parcel's journey from DC to doorstep and expect it to be wrapped in premium packaging when it arrives, according to Dotcom Distribution, a third party logistics provider (3PL) and e-commerce fulfillment firm based in Edison, N.J.

Skip any of those steps and risk losing business, the survey showed. Almost half (47 percent) of shoppers said they had chosen not to order from a retailer again because of poor order transparency about their package status during the fulfillment and delivery process. And 40 percent of shoppers say that looks matter: They would be somewhat more likely or much more likely to purchase from a retailer again if they ordered a package online and it came in a gift-like or premium package.

Of course, these new demands don't let shippers off the hook in providing fast delivery. The study's statistics show that 87 percent said the amount of time it took to receive an e-commerce order would influence their decision to shop with a retailer or brand again, and 67 percent said they would be willing to pay more money to get same-day delivery.

In fact, fast delivery is even more important than product quality, the study showed. Nearly twice as many shoppers said fast delivery (44 percent) would motivate them to give repeat business to a new brand than those who said better quality (24 percent) would do the trick. Finally, the study showed that fulfillment mistakes are costly. Make a slow delivery or miss a delivery deadline, and customers will flee to competitors located just a click away on their laptop browsers.

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