The coronavirus pandemic has sparked a shift in not only how consumers shop with the brands they love but also what they expect from them. Adoption of various shopping and payment technologies, ranging from buy online, pickup in-store (BOPIS) services to contactless payments and loyalty programs, have come to redefine the customer experience for in-store and online shopping. Faster shipping and consumers’ willingness to pay for it is, however, is one key aspect of the shopping experience that has largely been missing from the conversation.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers heavily turned to delivery services, especially during lockdowns, as leaving homes was simply not safe. According to the World Economic Forum, there was a 25 percent rise in consumer eCommerce deliveries in 2020.
New research from Omnitracs, a fleet management solution provider, highlights that consumers’ interest in having products delivered and in an expedient manner is unlikely to fade anytime soon.
“The global health crisis ushered in a new way of living, and consumers have become accustomed to the conveniences that stay-at-home orders have brought to the table. It’s clear that the pandemic-driven shift to deliveries as a primary method of buying goods isn’t going anywhere as restrictions lift,” said Dr. Ashim Bose, Chief Data and AI Officer at Omnitracs.
The research was based on a survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers and it assessed consumers’ use of delivery options over the course of the last 12 months. Here are some of the top findings and key takeaways:
Ensuring a easy and convenient experience start with offering delivery options
Over the last year, 53 percent of surveyed consumers reported utilizing delivery services to ensure the safety of themselves and their families. Consumers’ use of delivery options was particularly high for groceries, beverages and alcohol, with 47 percent of consumers utilizing delivery services to access these products for the first time.
Businesses should thus continue to make investments in offering delivery options for customers who began using them for safety but now rely on them for convenience.
Offering a better delivery experience is key to amplifying consumer loyalty
Since the start of the pandemic, 59 percent of consumers reportedly used one or two-day delivery options at least once a month. Meanwhile, 65 percent of consumers have expressed interest in accelerated shipping times and the willingness to pay for faster, more reliable deliveries.
To meet these demands, delivery providers must invest in dispatch, routing and visibility solutions.
Consumers want faster and sustainable delivery services
While consumers’ demand for expedited delivery is high, so is their interest in sustainable shipping. Forty percent of consumers are looking to businesses that offer eco-friendly delivery options, such as electric trucks. Meanwhile, 45 percent of surveyed consumers indicate that they would be open to seeing drones used for last-mile delivery options.
It is thus critical for businesses to not only focus on offering a faster delivery experience to their customers, but also ensuring that the environmental impact of their delivery services is minimal.