The Biggest Thing Brands Are Missing In Today’s Delivery Economy

In today’s digital age, people are conditioned to see the status of everything that is happening around us, from getting an ETA from your traffic app to waiting for your pizza to be delivered. Brands say they know their customers want visibility into the status of their delivery. Brands also say that they’re providing it — but are they keeping pace with consumer demand?

It’s commonplace for customers to automatically receive tracking information for their orders just minutes after check-out. But how much longer are the promises of “delivery before 8 p.m.” going to keep up with expectations? And what sort of pressure does that put on brands and brand loyalty?

According to our recent report, The Delivery Economy and The New Customer Experience, pressure is already building for marketers to provide more visibility into the delivery experience, thanks in part to on-demand delivery apps. Nearly three-quarters (71%) of consumers report that the use of on-demand delivery apps has influenced how they want all products delivered from online purchases, leading to increased expectations for faster shipping and greater visibility into delivery progress.

This is in line with marketing executives’ expectations as well, as over three-quarters (76%) of executives say that on-demand delivery apps are influencing how customers want purchases delivered. They also say they know that growing trends like on-demand delivery apps and same-day delivery services are shaping the customer experience.

Where Brands are Missing the Mark

Our report suggests that brands are not clear on the level of visibility their customers want.

Brands are in tune, to some degree, with these shifting expectations. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of marketers were unsurprised to find that consumers expect a time/window of delivery. A similar percentage (63%) of marketers also say they offer the ability to track shipping/delivery by date, time and location.

But signs are already pointing to consumers wanting even more visibility into the delivery of the purchases. Only 20% of marketing executives believe customers want real-time tracking, but 31% of consumers said they want this capability. On-demand delivery apps offer consumers this minute-by-minute visibility into the progress of their delivery, and as the Delivery Economy continues to gain traction, the expectations of greater visibility into the delivery process will grow.

Expectations around the customer experience are constantly evolving, and not just around delivery time. Brands need to constantly be checking the pulse of their customers to ensure they are meeting those evolving expectations. For instance, Chewy, an online pet supplies retailer, prioritizes the customer experience with autoship, which allows you to schedule the delivery of your favorite pet supplies at increments of your choosing, as well as at a discounted price. The autoship feature can also be edited at the customer’s discretion and can even be altered after an order is placed. They also offer one-to-two day delivery on all items, as well as 24/7 customer support.

Additionally, brands such as Macy’s, Barnes and Noble, Best Buy and The Container Store offer same-day delivery in select metro areas if orders are placed by a certain time that day. And while same-day delivery is still limited to larger metro areas, brands are looking to expand this option to more locations.

The Pathway to Success

Marketing leaders can’t do this alone. It’s the marketer’s job to keep a pulse on evolving customer expectations, but it’s up to the transportation and delivery providers to provide the services that meet those expectations. As customer experience continues to evolve — thanks to the delivery economy — recognizing the value of building relationships between marketers and operations are imperative. They should be partnering with logistics and shipping, transportation and delivery providers, and other key stakeholders to plan and implement steps that ensure they are keeping up with these shifting expectations.

To learn more about the evolving delivery economy, check out our new report.