- Retailers who invest early in same-day shipping services and offer "premium" packaging services, such as gift-boxes, will likely retain more customers than their counterparts, according to a recent Dotcom Distribution survey.
- The survey of 558 online shoppers found customers have little patience for error, reward transparent fulfillment processes, will pay extra for faster delivery even if the need is not urgent, and care more for delivery speed than product quality.
- Customer loyalty is precarious, however: 47% of respondents chose not to shop again at a retailer with poor fulfillment transparency or delivery processes. Offering premium packaging boosts the chances they will return, according to 40% of respondents, while 50% added it boosted the likelihood of recommending the service.
The customer is king and as consumer expectations shift, companies manufacturing or distributing for retailers would be remiss to ignore the two trends in this report. First, customers prioritize speedy delivery above all else, and second, innovative packaging practices are rewarded.
The first lesson is a given now, so much so that a retailer which does not tighten its fulfillment timelines may suffer as laggards in adopting to a new reality. The second, however, provides real opportunities for distributors and retailers.
Distributors who can master the art of balancing specialized packaging demands and traditional distribution constraints (size, handling, efficacy of packaging) at margin-adjusted price increases can sell a "premium" service that can be transferred in full to the consumer. Of course, that may still be a long-shot considering most supply chains are adjusting to a new playing field.