10 May 2019

Shipping and return expectations of today

The technological development within e-commerce is moving quickly and in particular within delivery and return everything is accelerating. New standards are set all the time and the customers’ expectations are continuously increasing - it has to be easier, faster and smarter. But how do you create delivery and return services which fulfil the customers' expectations and set the standard for tomorrow?

Meet and exceed your customers' delivery expectations

At the world’s largest retail conference ‘NRF Retail’s BIG Show’ in New York in which Hesehus of course participated, one of the big topics was the consumers’ increasing expectations for delivery and return. It became clear that ‘buy online pickup in store’ (BOPIS) and ‘buy online return in store’ (BORIS) are two services which more and more customers expect that e-sellers offer. In particular, expectations for speed and convenience of BOPIS and BORIS have been continuously increasing over the past year. However, what is interesting is that the standard for what is considered fast and easy depends on where in the world you and your customers are located. By keeping the finger on the pulse and search worldwide, retailers can get a lot of inspiration and value when it comes to the latest trends within delivery and return.

Tomorrow is too late in New York – how about in an hour?

New York has many examples of stores that set new standards for fast and easy delivery and return.

An example is the clothing store Paige which, together with several other stores in New York, offers customers one-hour delivery of their in-store shopping directly to the customer’s hotel room - all for free. In this way, Paige is helping the customers with their hassle as they avoid having to drag lots of bags filled with nice things for the remainder of their shopping spree and at the same time, Paige is fulfilling the customers' expectations for fast and frictionless delivery in New York style.

Lockers ensure quick in-store delivery and return

Other example is the sports wear giant Nike which has set completely new standards within in-store delivery and return (BOPIS and BORIS) by having an innovative approach to the use of technologies. Nike has designed the lowest floor in its Flagship Store in New York with a lot of 'lockers' for pick-up and return of products bought via the webshop or in-store via the Nike app. This means that the customer can jump the queue and pick up the product directly in a locker and if the product does not fit, the customer can easily return it via a locker.

In this way, Nike has created a delivery service and experience which makes the customer want to come back to the store again and again.

Danish consumers make the highest demands in the Nordic countries

The consumers’ expectations for a frictionless delivery and return experience are increasing also in Denmark. Actually, the Danish consumers make the highest demands in the Nordic countries when it comes to fast delivery. According to PostNord’s report ‘E-handel I Norden – resumé 2018’, 68% of the Danish consumers believe that delivery within a maximum of three days is a crucial feature in a webshop and as many as 37% even believe that same-day delivery is a must when they shop online.

Same-day delivery & drop shipping

The Danish beauty giant, Matas, is one of the front-runners in Denmark when it comes to fast delivery. Matas is now offering same-day delivery to its webshop customers through a cooperation with the distribution company Burd. In the webshop, the customer will, of course, only be presented with the option of same-day delivery if the customer is resident in one of the postal codes in which this type of delivery is possible.

In this way, Matas avoids to confuse or tease other customers with an option which is not really possible. At present, the option of same-day delivery is limited to a little less than one million homes in the capital area but Matas expects to spread the option to larger parts of the country gradually as Burd spreads the service to the rest of Denmark.

Another way in which Matas meets the demand for speed is through drop shipping. In Matas’ webshop, a number of products can be bought which are traded through Matas but supplied by external suppliers. These products are not available from Matas’ own warehouse but from the individual suppliers. The delivery time will therefore be longer if Matas needs to have them sent from the external supplier before they are forwarded to the customer. As a result, Matas has entered into agreements with the external suppliers on drop shipping so that the products are sent directly from the external supplier to the customer.

“Many of today’s technologies in US and Europe are already yesterday’s technologies in China.”

- Rod Sides, Vice Chairman and U.S. Leader of Retail, Wholesale and Distribution Practice in Deloitte

The future of retail is today’s retail in China

In China where the restrictions on the use of various technologies and data are fewer that in the EU and the US, retailers can use the technologies so smartly that it creates an entirely new and far higher level of delivery expectations.

China’s largest online retailer, JD.com has been able to set an almost futuristic standard for delivery. By means of the nationwide distribution network, they are offering standard same-day and next-day delivery on all orders in the entire country for more than 1 billion people. In addition, JD.com has 100 drone bases spread all over China to handle the delivery in the areas which are most difficult to reach such as mountain villages. As a result, JD.com has made online shopping a frictionless experience for the Chinese consumer and has also ensured a large and loyal customer base across the entire country.

”Traditional retail is giving the customers what they want – now you have to give the customers WHAT they want, WHEN they want it and WHERE they want it."

- Harlan Bratcher, Global Business Development Head in JD.com

Are you also interested in setting the standard and exceed your customers’ expectations for delivery and return? We would like to invite you for a cup of coffee or we can visit you for a non-binding talk about your options.

Contact Mette Reinholt Mortensen, Manager of Delivery and Development at: +45 24 23 55 92 or email to: mette@hesehus.dk

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