MetaPack recently released their last report: ‘State of eCommerce Delivery’. The report is an annual study of consumers’ delivery expectations and experiences around eCommerce.

You can download the full report from MetaPack here.

The key findings of the report include an increasing demand from consumers for control and options about their delivery experience:

Demanding innovation and excellence in every channel, [shoppers] expect to take control of their retail experience – and that includes where, when and how delivery happens

As well as more reason than ever for businesses to step up their delivery offering to meet and exceed customer demand:

… delivery impacts every stage of the consumer buying process and is a top consideration when shoppers determine where to make their purchases… the pressure is on to get last mile capabilities right or suffer the consequences… when delivery expectations aren’t met, today’s online shoppers are unforgiving and won’t hesitate to shop elsewhere

What does this mean for businesses making deliveries in their own vehicles?

For businesses making deliveries in their own vehicles (for example, those businesses supplying heavy and bulky items (like furniture) or items that require expert fitting or installation (like kitchens and bathrooms), Stream can help to meet many of the customer expectations and demands covered in the report. The report indicates that online shoppers increasingly demand:

  • More Choice and Options for Delivery The report revealed that consumers demand options for both delivery location (with falling numbers happy to receive parcels at home, and more options available – from delivery to a workplace or a locker, to click-and-collect in-store or at local pick-up points); and delivery time (with 20% opting for weekend delivery). Though many of these options just aren’t possible for businesses delivering bulky or awkward goods direct to consumers, it is worth noting that customers may be looking for alternative delivery options (like weekend or out-of-hours delivery) for these goods too.
  • Agile Delivery As an added-value proposition, the ability to change delivery aspects (like the precise address or timing of the delivery) ‘on the fly’ is becoming increasingly popular. Almost a third (29%) of consumers surveyed had already opted to change aspects of their deliveries in transit, with a further 50% reporting that they would like to use this option if it were available to them. With Stream’s Proactive Notifications and customer gateway, you are able to empower customers to reschedule their delivery time, or change the location of the delivery, even whilst the driver is en route, with a notification sent to the mobile driver app and to back-office staff, so everyone is always in-the-know.
  • Faster Delivery Though super-speedy delivery options like same-day or next-day delivery may not be on the cards for some bespoke items (like sofas or fitted kitchens), in Stream’s planning screen you are able to plan routes for orders as soon as they are added to the system. Intelligent routing and planning features also increase the speed of delivery, by planning the best-optimised route, taking multi-drop, multi-depot and multi-vehicle factors to get orders delivered as quickly and efficiently as possible.
  • Delivery Slots with Accurate Timings The report notes that today’s online shoppers expect timed delivery slots and, perhaps more importantly, “45% of respondents made it clear that they expected retailers and brands/manufacturers to meet their promises when it came to timed delivery slots“. Stream gives customers a timed delivery slot as soon as the delivery route is planned, with proactive updates throughout the day of delivery, and when the customer is the next in line for their delivery, making it easier than ever to keep customers informed about their delivery time, and keep that important delivery-time promise.
  • Free or Low-Cost Delivery Though fast delivery is undeniably important to consumers, free delivery actually ranks higher in surveyed consumers’ priorities, with over half (52%) ranking this as either their first or second most important priority. With prices starting from as little as £15 per vehicle, and real savings to be made (with optimised routes cutting down time-on-the-road,ePOD (electronic proof of delivery) cutting down administrative resources; and a customer-centric system that cuts time spend manually contacting customers, whilst improving customer-service levels) Stream can work for businesses who want to offer free or low-cost delivery options to customers.

Stream could also work for businesses offering the increasingly popular subscription-delivery model. Over a quarter (27%) of those surveyed are part of at least one premium delivery loyalty programme, with another 39% planning to join programmes this year – in fact, 79% of consumers say they want the eCommerce websites they shop with to offer a delivery loyalty programme, so they can benefit from faster/free delivery. With Stream’s service levels feature it is easy to attach a specific service level to customers who are part of a premium delivery loyalty programme, and to view these service levels directly in the planning screen, or to search and sort orders by service level.

  • Frictionless, Error-Free Delivery Fulfilling the delivery promise as accurately and painlessly as possible is an important factor in customer expectations, and the report adds that “Failing to do so will see shoppers instantly switch loyalties and make their purchases elsewhere“. Combining planning functionality with clear, automated customer communications, you can always be sure that your customers are in the loop about their delivery status, and delivery routes are realistically planned to keep drivers on schedule.
  • Dynamic Delivery Status Updates With 90% of consumers typically tracking their orders online, and third of customers checking their delivery status more then once, and almost half (49%) reporting that they “expect an e-tailer to communicate the status of their order – and say being kept informed is very important to them” clear, easy-to-access customer communication is an essential part of the modern delivery offering. Stream’s focus on customer service, automated updates via email and SMS and self-service customer gateway, combine with in-flight driver tracking via the mobile driver app to give customers end-to-end, real-time visibility over the order-to-delivery process, at every stage.

Getting the delivery offering right can influence purchase decisions (leading to more business). The report comments that “60% of consumers bought goods from one online merchant over another because the delivery options were more convenient for their needs”. Additionally, 39% “will never shop again with an online merchant following a negative delivery experience” This makes it imperative that online businesses delivering goods to consumers get the delivery offering right going forward into 2018. Schedule your demo to speak to us about how Stream an help you to meet customer expectations for delivery.