Consumers’ biggest complaints about online retailers’ 2020 holiday performance were about delivery timing and communication, according to a January 2021 survey of over 1,100 U.S. online shoppers by Digital Commerce 360 and Bizrate Insights.   

When asked what would impact their choice of online retailers to shop in the year ahead, 47% of online shoppers surveyed said more inventory in stock followed by faster delivery, selected by 45%. Consumers also want to know when their order will arrive. In response to a separate question about what made them purchase from particular retailers during the holiday season, 37% cited guaranteed delivery times. 

The big shift to online shopping has put pressure on retailers to keep up with consumers’ demand for reliable delivery. In many cases, consumers won’t wait several days or weeks for delivery, especially now that a growing number buy essentials online, such as groceries and household supplies. Instead, they seek out retailers that can provide faster same-day options.  

Retailers are putting more focus on increasing online inventory by having suppliers ship more product directly to shoppers. This drop-ship model allows retailers to expand online assortment without committing capital to purchasing merchandise that might not sell. Too often, the benefits to shoppers of having more selection is offset by retailers’ padding delivery times because they can’t accurately predict how long it will take suppliers to fulfill orders. This frustrates customers, creating doubt that items will be delivered and potentially jeopardizing a good customer experience. 

Retailers pad the estimated delivery dates so that they don’t disappoint customers. But in doing so they hurt their conversion rates, as many shoppers will abandon a shopping cart if an order will take too long to arrive. In August 2020, 27% of online shoppers said they had canceled an order because the promised delivery date was too far away. A Better Delivery Experience Boosts Conversion Rates  

Shoppers are paying more attention to delivery dates and it has become a deciding factor in making purchase decisions. In fact, 60% of shoppers say they buy from a retailer that ships faster if two websites offer the same price. There’s the potential for a 2-3% lift in your revenue base if you can provide more accurate delivery data.  

Offer a specific delivery date that’s only a few days away and more consumers will complete a purchase. Rithum data suggests that moving the promised delivery date to one day earlier will improve conversion by 4%, by two days: 8% and by three days: at least 10%.    

With consumers more focused on being able to find the products they want when they want them and get orders on time, retailers can better meet these customer expectations by investing in the capabilities to ensure delivery confidence. We’d love to partner with you to provide this. Contact us.