It seems so simple. Get the order. Ship the order. Done.
Like nearly everything in ecommerce, ecommerce fulfillment has grown and evolved rapidly and in startling new directions over the last 12-18 months. The factors driving changes in ecommerce fulfillment are well known: explosive growth in online shopping driven by the COVID pandemic; traditional retailers scrambling to find new ways to get products to house-bound shoppers; and growing shopper expectations for free, super-fast delivery of nearly everything they order online.
Fulfilling ecommerce orders can no longer be an afterthought and an issue only for a brand’s operations and logistics folks. Rather, ecommerce order fulfillment needs to be central to any brand or retailer’s go-to-market strategy.
Here is a round-up of some of the latest, most intriguing ecommerce fulfillment statistics to help inform and guide your order fulfillment strategy for this year and beyond.
Can’t get enough data? Us either. Click on the blue asterisk after the text to go to the original source.
1. Fast shipping (62%) and an easy delivery process (54%) are the top drivers in creating a positive customer experience for ecommerce shoppers.
Despite all the wonderful content, detailed product descriptions, dazzling photos and device-responsive UIs that marketers create to shape the shopper’s customer experience, the two biggest drivers of a positive customer experience are logistical, back-end factors: shipping speed and delivery process.*
2. Some 61% of U.S. online shoppers say fast shipping is essential to a positive customer experience. The highest ranking factor.
The fulfillment experience – especially speed of delivery – has become a major component of the brand experience. Understanding and meeting your customers’ delivery expectations will shape their perception of your brand.*
3. 78% of U.S. online shoppers say fast shipping and delivery is the most important factor to help them decide to make an online purchase.
Online shoppers know what they want and when they want it… they want it now! Retailers and brands selling online are competing with the take-it-home-now convenience of traditional retail and the hybrid buy-it-now, come-get-it experience of curbside and in-store pickup of online orders. Ecommerce shoppers may not expect you to deliver immediately (yet) but they do expect you to deliver quickly or they will find someone that will.*
4. More than 67% of U.S. consumers expect same-, next- or two-day delivery of their ecommerce orders.
Shaped by Amazon Prime and its ever accelerating delivery guarantees, online shoppers now expect delivery in record time – even when they are not shopping on Amazon.*
5. 39% of US shoppers expect 2-day shipping to be free and 29% have backed out of a purchase because 2-day shipping wasn’t free.
While consumers expect shipping to be fast, they don’t expect to have to pay for it. Free, 2-day shipping is the new table stakes.*
6. 75% of consumers expect delivery to be free even on orders under $50.
As we’ve seen, consumers now expect fast, same-1-2 day delivery of their orders. But even if you are not convinced you need to offer accelerated shipping, note this: free shipping is no longer optional. Once upon a time, free shipping was a competitive point of difference. Those days are gone.*
7. Consumers now expect to wait only a maximum of 3.3 days for orders sent with free shipping.
That’s down 40% from 5.5 days in 2012. So even if you aren’t able to offer 1-2 day delivery, you will need to deliver more quickly than you have in the past just to remain competitive.*
So there you have it. Consumers expect free, fast shipping. But the news isn’t all bad for sellers. Brands and retailers that can move quickly, offering accelerated shipping options before their competition, can often enjoy a competitive advantage and a boost in sales.
8. Walmart reports a 50% conversion increase for products with 2-day badging.
Driven by the success of Amazon Prime, Walmart, eBay and other marketplaces have established their own accelerated delivery programs. But unlike Amazon Prime, these programs aren’t yet saturated with sellers. Getting their 1-2 day delivery “badge” can have a big payoff.*
9. For brands selling on their own website storefront, sellers who have implemented 2-day shipping programs have seen shopping cart conversions increase by up to 25%.
Selling on your own site, often utilizing a shopping cart platform such as Shopify, Magento or Big Commerce, has a lot of appeal for brand marketers seeking control of their brand equity and looking to showcase their entire product line. We’ve seen that the capability to deliver sales in 1-or-2 days also enhances the shopping experience. Plus it boosts sales. Concerned that your brand can’t fulfill D2C orders? If your operations group is more experienced shipping pallets to warehouses than parcels directly to consumers, consider partnering with a 3PL or fulfillment service.*
10. Online shoppers spent 9.4% more to meet a shipping threshold and save on shipping
Shipping thresholds are an effective way to make free shipping more affordable. Multiple studies have shown shoppers will add items to their shopping cart to hit free and accelerated shipping thresholds.*
11. For retailers offering 1-2 day shipping: 59% reported more repeat customers, 22% reported beating the competition, 39% reported better online reviews.
Meeting shopper shipping expectations not only boosts sales and the customer experience, it has a positive impact on many areas of the business.*
One more fun, and possibility sobering, statistic...
12. Time is not on your side!
Here’s where your competition’s top IT decision makers say they are putting their resources in the next few years.*
54% are investing in Distributed Order Management – an ecommerce fulfillment technology designed to optimize placing inventory in multiple locations, closer to the consumer, in order to speed delivery time and cut fulfillment costs.
38% are investing in other fulfillment technologies
36% are investing in real-time inventory visibility
Is your ecommerce fulfillment strategy ready to meet your shopper’s growing expectations for free, fast delivery? We can help. Our recent blog post “Ecommerce Fulfillment: Meeting the 1-2 Day Delivery Challenge” offers a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to implementing an accelerated delivery program while still protecting your margins. Click to get immediate access.