3 Things You Need to Know About the Delivery Economy in an Uncertain World

Our recent research series on the state of the Delivery Economy — the pervasive sentiment in which customers expect the low cost, fast, and highly transparent delivery of goods — has uncovered some of the external factors and institutional challenges organizations are facing in their quest to meet growing customer expectations.

We collected the latest survey with the goal of better understanding the supply chains position to succeed and how customers, both B2C and B2B, prioritized different aspects of the Delivery Economy, from sustainability to data security and most poignant of all, economic instability.

We surveyed consumers and supply chain professionals from the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and France, and their responses confirmed that the Delivery Economy is as strong as ever and painted a clear picture of what challenges need to be addressed if companies are to succeed.

Read the full report for details and find a cheat sheet of our key findings below.

1. The Rules of Delivery Count Now More Than Ever

With such a large portion of buying decisions defined by the delivery process, it comes as no surprise 83% of customers are unwilling to sacrifice fast delivery in an economic downturn. As society accelerates a move toward a digital-first world, customers are relying on at home delivery now more than ever — even for basic necessities like groceries and household essentials.

While economic challenges won’t stop the growing delivery expectations, supply chains acknowledged they are on uneven footing with 55% reporting that they were not prepared or could have done more to prepare for an economic downturn, and only 23% said they had a contingency plan to reduce overall costs.

While a down economy would usually result in lower rates of consumer spending, customer behavior during this pandemic is requiring even more from companies and their supply chains.

2. Sustainability Is a Must-Have, Even in a Struggling Economy

Even in an economic downturn, 78% of consumers said they would be more likely to make purchases from companies that prioritize sustainability in the delivery process. From an operational standpoint, this unwavering and growing commitment to sustainability will prove to be a hurdle for companies to overcome — 69% of supply chains say it’s challenging to maintain or improve operational efficiency while also implementing sustainable practices.

Where it was once perhaps viewed as a luxury or niche selling point for brands, customers are now so adamant about sustainability that 60% would pay more for delivery to shop from a company that practiced sustainability in its shipping methods, even in an economic downturn.

3. Data Security Cannot be Overlooked in the Delivery Economy

More online transactions means more storage of data and more opportunities for something to fall through the cracks. Eighty percent of supply chains say the Delivery Economy has increased the amount of data they manage and store, yet 82% of customers felt that companies need to do more to protect the security of their personal data in their processes.

The challenge for supply chains is that while they can improve their own data security protocols, they have limited influence on how their partners and vendors treat customer data. Only 30% of supply chain professionals said their company requires partners to complete a standard security questionnaire before making purchases from them or working with them.

For companies to win and keep the trust of their customers, there needs to be a stronger, industry-wide commitment to safe data practices.

Meeting the Challenges Ahead

In today’s world, the only certainty will continue to be uncertainty. Even as concerns around the current global crisis diminish over time, organizations will not be short on challenges to address as a changing world makes it more and more difficult to adapt while still finding ways increase operational efficiency.

Supply chains may not have control over global events, but they can ensure they have the data and insights needed to thrive. Read the full report for more insights into customer expectations and how supply chains are responding.