Understanding eCommerce Delivery in 2020

Delivery was a sticking point in 2019 and we expect it to continue impacting ecommerce in 2020 and beyond.

Major moves from mentor companies, like Amazon’s Prime FREE Same-Day Delivery and Shopify’s strategy to include logistics solutions to its long list of service offerings are signs all retailers should work towards fast ecommerce delivery.

Changing customer expectations—like fast and hassle-free delivery— are pushing retailers to get creative and change how goods reach their customers.

And as many small and medium firms admire the convenience and calibers of the likes of Amazon and other market-movers, we expect to see more innovative ways to fulfil orders.

This post will discuss what the future holds for delivery. But first, let’s look at some statistics to gain insight into the current status of ecommerce shipping.

Shippo.com 2019 State of Shipping Report Reveals the Status of Shipping

Shippo conducts a survey on the status of ecommerce delivery every year. In the yearly’s 4th edition—the 2019 State of Shipping Report—Shippo looked into the transformation in delivery and whether merchants are meeting shopper delivery expectations or working beyond them.

One thing that comes out of the report is that sluggish deliveries are increasingly becoming a thing of the past. In 2017, the same report found more than 40 percent of shoppers willing to go with the 4 to 7 days shipping time, according to interviewed merchants. 2019’s figure went down by half to around 20 percent. 

As we speak, and into 2020, 2 to 3 days shipping—which is well liked by more than half of buyers (53 percent) and an entire 50 percent of merchants— will remain the staple.

But the study also notes a difference between ecommerce innovations and customer expectations. Shippo’s report actually indicates something interesting about retailers concerning same-day or next-day shipping and delivery.

Though almost 20 percent of shoppers say they would like to have orders fulfilled and delivered in 24 to 48 hours, under 1% of merchants feel same-day delivery matters to their buyers. 

More findings from the report show that 50% of ecommerce shoppers favor stores that deliver for free. Almost 30 percent of shoppers said they’d buy ONLY in stores that ship for free. And another 20 percent said they will abandon a brand that doesn’t ship for free for another.

Yet fewer retailers care to offer free delivery today. The figure has dropped significantly from over 40% to 20% in just three years –from 2016-19.

What Delivery will be like in 2020 according to Industry Insiders

Digital 360 interviewed 4 experts on their perspective concerning the future of ecommerce delivery in 2020.

Here’s what came out.

1. Pacing the shift to Fast delivery.

 “2020 promises to be a year when everything is faster. More shoppers will be able to receive their purchases for same-day delivery and next day may become a standard shoppers expect for all their purchases. Store-based retailers will be an important cog in that process.”

—Lauren Freedman, senior consumer analyst at Internet Retailer’s parent company Digital Commerce 360

2. Customers will spend more cautiously.

 ”Despite the looming indicators that the economy may be in for a  slowdown, the strength of the retail sector will largely be dictated by consumer confidence, consumers’ perception of the economy and what they ultimately decide to do with their dollars. Consumers will continue to be budget conscious and savvy, they’ll continue to compare prices and look to ecommerce for deals. They’re likely to be more scrutinous in their spending.”

—Mike Rittler, general manager of retail card services, unsecured lending and business development at TD Bank

3. Free or Fast Delivery will dominate.

 “Free or expedited ecommerce delivery will become the norm as more retailers are forced to get aggressive with their shipping programs.”

—Darren Baldwin, director of development at workwear retailer Dungarees LLC 

4. Brands will shift to sustainable delivery methods to attract buyers.

“Sustainability and circular economy principles will become increasingly important to consumers. Brands will benefit by showing consumers they value sustainability and contribute to a ‘circular economy.’ That means demonstrating that they honor the values associated with sustainability through the use of recycled or upcycled products, streamlined shipping procedures, sustainable manufacturing processes and/or thoughtful packaging.”

—Deb Gabor, CEO of digital marketing firm Sol Marketing and author of “Irrational Loyalty.”

Wrapping Up  

The above insights should matter to retailers and assist them in making informed ecommerce delivery decisions in 2020 and beyond.