Why Customer Expectations Are About to Get Even Higher?

Many e-commerce businesses are focusing on faster, more efficient shipping methods to please customers acclimated to services like Amazon Prime.

But while two-day free shipping seems like a godsend now, it’s only a matter of time before the bar is raised again.

According to a study by Zebra Technologies, an estimated 40 percent of all packages will be delivered within two hours by 2028. This is no doubt music to consumers’ ears, but what’s driving this development?

Let’s look at some key reasons why customer expectations are about to get even higher.

Drones and Weekend Delivery Services

Though current logistics infrastructure isn’t close to making deliveries within two hours, consumers are expecting faster shipping in part because of drone technology.

Commercial drones can travel at speeds up to 100 mph and carry goods under 5 lbs. Each shipment could potentially cost as little as $1.

Due to this low potential cost of drone shipping, faster shipments could mean higher revenues for e-retailers as 86 percent of abandoned carts online result from expensive shipping costs. It also means happier customers.

As the e-commerce industry grows, weekend deliveries are becoming commonplace with USPS, UPS, and FedEx all offering weekend services.

This is a move made by all three to please the customer since 77 percent of consumers want to see the guaranteed weekend or after-hours shipping. The demand for after-hours and weekend deliveries is strong, but only 34 percent of all e-retailers surveyed offered this option.

Fulfillment Centers Are Moving from Manual to Digital Technology

Many e-commerce companies outsource their fulfillment to third-party logistics or third-party fulfillment companies because of their warehouse spaces and logistics networks.

The beauty of outsourcing fulfillment is when your company implements new technology to improve their operations, your process benefits as well. With the e-commerce market expected to continue growing at a rapid pace, fulfillment companies are trying to keep pace with cutting-edge technology because any small tech advancement ultimately means more dollars in their pockets.

Radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology and inventory management platforms are expected to grow by 49 percent in the next few years.

RFID-enabled software, hardware, and tagging solutions offer up-to-the-minute, item-level inventory lookup. These systems improve inventory accuracy and shopper satisfaction because of their ability to reduce out of stocks, overstocks and limit replenishment errors.

They also facilitate the picking, packing and shipping process at the warehouse, ensuring a speedy delivery to the customer’s door.

Same Day Delivery Will Be Standard Within the Next Decade

According to Supply Chain 247, next-day or two-day delivery is currently the industry standard, but the next evolutionary step is affordable same-day delivery.

With same-day delivery, orders are delivered within a few hours after purchasing them or in a chosen time window on the same day.

Same-day and instant delivery will likely reach a combined share of 20–25 percent of the market by 2025. Next-day and instant delivery are both likely to grow significantly, especially if services extend to rural areas.

For an e-retailer that sells electronics or other high-value items, same-day and instant delivery will drastically decrease the number of lost shipments.

Instead of a product being loaded on multiple trucks between the point of pickup and delivery, these items can be put on one vehicle or carried by a drone during transit.

Increased speed and higher shipping accuracy will also help reduce the number of returns, which would be a big money saver for e-commerce stores.

E-commerce retailers are certainly aware of the increased demand for fast shipping, but they need to evolve to meet consumer demand. If e-commerce has taught us anything, it’s that the business will find a way to do it.

This cycle why customer expectations are about to get even higher in the near future.

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