eCommerce businesses are facing a complicated time, with inflation skyrocketing and online spendings declining by 8 per cent. As merchants are adapting to the current economic uncertainty, consumers are more demanding than ever. According to the Sendcloud eCommerce Delivery Compass, 67 per cent of consumers indicate that flexible delivery is key to them when shopping online. Especially during these uncertain times, merchants should be extremely concerned to learn about the delivery factors impacting their sales.
While eCommerce growth is slowing down, consumers are more sophisticated than ever – demanding and having different expectations of the delivery experience. Research by Sendcloud, E shows that 65 per cent of UK consumers like to have the opportunity to choose the exact day of the delivery and another 71 per cent of consumers would like to select a time frame for their delivery. On top of that, almost half (45 per cent) consumers would even like to be able to change the delivery time once the parcel is on the road.
Convenience is driving the flexibility trend
The need for flexibility seems to be driven primarily by a desire for convenience, as consumers nowadays want to decide for themselves where, when and how to receive an order. As a result, premium shipping options are on the rise, allowing consumers to receive a parcel whenever they want. Next to standard delivery (64 per cent), consumers like to opt for nominated day delivery (33 per cent), weekend delivery (29 per cent) or same day delivery (23 per cent). Preferably, merchants process orders fast as the majority of UK consumers expect an average cut off time of 18.00 for next-day delivery and midday for same-day delivery.
4 reasons to use a multi-carrier strategy in times of economic uncertainty
As companies try to drive profitable growth amidst the recession, it’s never been more important to deliver an excellent shipping experience. When it comes to offering flexible delivery, one size does not fit all. Four reasons why a multi-carrier strategy can help meet expectations and save costs at the same time:
1. Choose the best solution for each parcel
Where it used to be the standard to negotiate a good price with one carrier on the basis of large parcel volumes, merchants are increasingly choosing to spread their volume over several parties. A data-driven approach helps to pick the fastest, cheapest shipping option. By combining the pricing schedules of multiple carriers based on weight, origin, destination and speed, you can optimise your shipping costs to the maximum. With a clear overview of your carrier’s performance, you can even get more bargaining power to negotiate the best rates.
2. Delivering expectations using a mix of carriers
Consumer expectations play a major role in the choice for a multi-carrier strategy, as 67 per cent of consumer claim flexibility is key to them. Consumers want to choose where, when and how a parcel is delivered and are even willing to reach for premium delivery options such as same day delivery, next day delivery or green delivery. If retailers want to meet these expectations, they must combine a mix of carriers as there is no one size fits all solution. Implementing a multi-carrier strategy allows consumers to pick the shipping method and time that suits them best – thus driving conversions.
3. Being resilient in times of economic uncertainty
Especially during times of economic uncertainty, it’s essential to maintain control over your shipping strategy. In view of the labour shortage in the logistics industry, you don’t want to risk parcels arriving late or not at all – causing angry customers. A multi-carrier strategy is a clever way to spread your parcel volume over multiple carriers. This way you can easily switch from carrier A to B when there are (local) delays or when a carrier is overloaded, making sure delivery promises can always be fulfilled.
4. Letting your shipping solution do the maths
Errors in shipping invoices are an unnecessary expense that can cost your company a lot of money. Especially with new fuel charges following the crisis and rising shipping costs, it is good to keep an extra eye on the terms and conditions of different carriers as these can change regularly. Not only fuel surcharges, but also dimensional weight and parcel size might impact the total shipping costs. To avoid bad surprises afterwards, it’s best to calculate all the shipping costs – including surcharges – upfront to clarify the total costs and avoid overpaying. By using a shipping platform, you can automate label creation and minimise errors to a maximum to fully optimise your shipping costs.