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Ship It (Fast) And They Will Spend

Same-day deliveries create a virtuous spending cycle.

Retailers: Ignore the quality of your fulfillment service at your own risk.

According to a new survey by national courier Dropoff, those who don’t deliver when it comes to deliveries are leaving money on the table and risk losing big-spending customers.

In a February poll of 995 U.S. shoppers, Dropoff found that speed matters, with 47 percent reporting that they’ve paid extra for faster deliveries within the past 12 months. The figure rises to 54 percent for millennials, while early tech adopters and luxury shoppers are more than twice as likely to have paid extra for same-day delivery during the trailing 12 months.

Speed, in fact, even trumps brand loyalty. In the case of logistics champion Amazon, 65 percent of the e-tailer’s shoppers said they would order from another merchant if the same delivery options were offered.

What’s more, same-day delivery options would encourage some 50 percent of consumers to shop online more often, the survey showed, while 74 percent of respondents said receiving a same-day delivery made them more inclined to purchase from the same retailer again.

“Clearly, delivery options and quality play a major role in consumers’ purchase decisions,” Dropoff said. “When done right, retailers stand to gain a lot, from attracting new customers to encouraging loyalty.”

Nonetheless, retailers are appear to be dropping the ball, and customer packages, on the fulfillment front, and the repercussions can be profound.

According to the poll, 53 percent of consumers have abandoned an online purchase due to slow delivery times — rising to 60 percent for early tech adopters — and 57 percent said they’re less likely to purchase from the same retailer again if the delivery person was unprofessional.

Apparently shoppers have plenty to gripe about. Fully 78 percent of respondents have experienced late deliveries, up from 70 percent last year, while 56 percent reported damaged packaging (up from 42 percent in 2017).

More disconcerting: for 41 percent, the actual purchase item arrived damaged (vs. 34 percent last year), while 36 percent received the wrong item (up from 31 percent in 2017) and 31 percent never received their order at all (up from 25 percent last year).

And yet while the quality of service is declining, consumer expectations are rising. Forty-three percent of shoppers expect companies to provide “much faster” delivery times than the prior year (up from 35 percent in 2017), as more and more consumers expect, and are willing to pay more for, same- or next-day delivery.

See: Target Ups Its Online Fulfillment