The delivery process is one of the most important aspects of online shopping. Fast, accurate and customized delivery; this is where webshops can distinguish themselves. When we look at the online shopping behavior, we see that the customer is getting more and more demanding. Customers except more from webshop logistics. The customer wants to control where and when a package is delivered. What are the delivery options and what does this mean for the customer? You will read it in this blog.
Pick up points
Nowadays, a package can be delivered at multiple locations, besides at home. Pickup points are being used a lot and they are increasing fast. Shipper PostNL has 2.600 locations for pick up, UPS follows with 1.400 pickup points. DHL opened its 1000th pickup point in October 2014. The number of pickup points continues to grow, because it creates a win-win situation for the customer, as well as for the webshop. The customer can chose its own time to pick up the package. He does not have to stay at home to wait for the delivery. Furthermore, he or she will be disappointed when the order cannot be received. It's not only the customer that takes advantage of the pickup points. When a customer is out of home, the shipper needs to come back for a second delivery. This causes a increase of the delivery costs. Most of the times, a package is delivered at the neighbors in that case. Nevertheless, it is more efficient to deliver 10 packages at one location, than delivering 10 different customers at home.
Pick up lockers
Besides pickup points, more and more lockers for pickup are being placed. In October 2014, the Dutch supermarket chain Spar started a pilot with pickup lockers in the headquarters. Employees can place an online order, after which a local supermarket fulfils the order in the locker. When this initiative appears to be successful, Spar will place pickup lockers for customers. The expectation is that other supermarket chains will follow with the lockers. PostNL has also placed pickup lockers at large train stations. A pilot which started in 2012 in Almere, was very successful. 89% of the customers was satisfied and 95% would use the locker again, according to the survey which was held afterwards. The advantage of the lockers is a 24/7 pickup option for the customers. DHL is offering lockers for home delivery in The Netherlands at the moment. If the customer is interested in home lockers, remains to been seen.
Time of delivery
We are beyond the time of delivery from Monday to Friday between 9 AM and 5 PM. The largest delivery companies already offer delivery after 6 PM and delivery on Saturday. PostNL even delivers on Sunday. Delivery between a 4-hour time window is more and more used by the companies. Despite this development, staying at home for four hours to wait for your online order is still frustrating. You cannot leave the house in the meantime, cause the delivery may come when you where just at the supermarket to buy some groceries.
What are the customer needs?
Pickup options are still a good alternative, because 92% of the customers still prefers home delivery above pickup points. This is the outcome of a scientific research executed by doctoral student of the University of Amsterdam. This research has already been used for multiple blogs about online shopping behavior (Webshop cut-off times & the effects of stockouts). Despite this outcome, there is still good news for alternative delivery methods: almost 70% of the Dutch online shoppers gives priority to the delivery costs above a time window choice or the speed of delivery. Delivery costs are very important for the customers. When a webshop is able to save money by pickup points of lockers, would it not be interesting to share that advantage with the customer? For example, calculate discount when a customer picks up a package instead of home delivery. That way customers are triggered to pick up a order, while the costs for them as well as the webshop are being decreased. This creates a win-win situation.
A proper integration with delivery companies is essential to meet the customer needs. Also, a flexible Warehouse Management System is needed to connect logistics with those companies. WICS Logistics works with the shipping module Paazl. Paazl connects all delivery companies in one service. For more information, please contact us.