Online shopping has had a tremendous influence on the way that the retail industry has changed over the last decade. While physical retail locations still remain popular, as COVID-19 remains prevalent it’s hard to deny the unity shopping online provides. Safety and assurance is very convenient in these trying times. This online functionality has proved to be much more beneficial as well. Entire inventories available to be browsed and compared based on unique features, components, customer reviews and price is as good as it gets. These capabilities lay credence to this industry’s growth as well. As of 2019, nearly two billion unique shoppers purchased something online. Those shoppers spent a combined $3.5 trillion dollars globally.
This industry’s growth wouldn’t have reached the heights it has without the help of Amazon. They’ve contributed to the rise of the online retailing space in a few keyways. One of the most impactful ways is their willingness to allow third-party sellers to offer their goods to Amazon users. These sellers contribute to the nearly 12 million products that Amazon offers its 200 million customers a month. These are some truly insane numbers, which of course influences smaller online retailers in the industry. Not only will these retailers struggle to offer as many products as Amazon, they’ll also fail to keep up with their shipping capabilities as well.
It’s no secret that customers have come to view Amazon as the standard of online retailers. More and more people continue to go to Amazon for their online purchases, which influences what they expect from other online shopping experiences. In fact, 90% of Amazon shoppers indicate they’ve come to expect similar two-day shipping times from other online retailers. Many of these retailers will struggle to offer such expedited shipping, which is why they’ll have to develop ways to improve their shipping speeds.
Of course, shipping isn’t the only way to improve the customer experience. While it’s a large part of what makes a customer decide to shop with a particular retailer, it won’t always be the deciding factor. For businesses with less than exceptional shipping capabilities, consider creating a branded tracking page for customers to track their packages’ every move throughout the delivery process. It may also be worth considering a website revamp assuming the user interface is less than inviting. In addition, take a look at the new user experience and how beneficial creating a user account actually is. Allowing users to save payment and shipping information for future purchases is a great change to make, for example.
While shipping speeds are certainly important to customers, shipping costs are just as influential on their willingness to shop with any online retailer. With nearly 70% of online shoppers indicating they’d much rather wait longer for their package to arrive than paying any shipping costs, smaller online retailers may stand a chance after all. If these retailers can find a way to decrease their shipping costs to customers, while still offering a competitive delivery speed, this can make all the difference. Automated storage and retrieval systems are the key to offering such shipping options. These systems can help coordinate warehousing and transportation efforts much more effectively for retailers. For more information on these systems, check out the infographic coupled alongside this post. Courtesy of Westfalia Technologies.