Why Brands Can’t Afford to Ignore Delivery

The expectations for delivery have changed considerably and the continued growth of faster, easier, and more transparent delivery options for consumers is only accelerating this change.

This has led to the advent of the Delivery Economy — the growing expectation in which customers expect low-cost, fast and highly transparent delivery of goods. On-demand delivery apps, same-day delivery options, and subscription-based delivery options are the chief drivers of these changing expectations.

A failure to keep pace with these expectations could have a big impact on brands — and not a positive one. While price, quality of a product, and customer service once drove the customer experience, delivery is now center stage. Indeed, most consumers are now saying delivery problems impact their impression of the brand. Nearly three-quarters (74%) of consumers say that when a package isn’t delivered when expected, it hurts their impression of the company.

When brands fall short of meeting expectations for fast, reliable and transparent delivery, whether they miss a delivery or a package arrives late, more consumers hold the brand responsible rather than the delivery companies themselves. When a package isn’t delivered when or as expected, 49% of consumers say they hold the retailer or ecommerce site responsible for the delay, and 42% say they hold the delivery company responsible.

On top of that, 60% of consumers say they complain when a product doesn’t arrive when expected. Consumers will make their voices heard, and 56% will go directly to the retailer to complain. Because delivery has become critical to consumers, negative word-of-mouth or reviews due to a poor delivery experience could impact how other potential customers view your brand or product.

With delivery holding more weight when it comes to brand perception, companies need to take a serious look at their customer experience. Brands can avoid a hit to their brand reputation with customers by focusing on meeting core customer expectations for delivery, including inexpensive (or free) delivery options, fast delivery times, and transparent delivery that includes real-time access into delivery status.

Companies such as Amazon and Walmart are providing more options to customers through programs like Amazon PrimeNow, which offers delivery in as fast as two hours. Walmart is continually expanding its grocery delivery options to new metro areas. Target is also investing in more delivery options with in-store pick-up, curbside pick-up and they have even acquired Shipt, a same-day delivery service. These three options drove over one-third of all online orders last quarter and also contributed to nearly three-quarters of the company’s 34% year-over-year increase in digital sales.

With delivery shifting the customer experience, and in some cases, serving as the driving force behind growth, now is the time for all companies (B2B and B2C) to step up their delivery game.

Additionally, companies should prioritize creating closer partnerships with logistics partners, specifically carriers, as brands are being held responsible for ensuring on-time and transparent delivery. Enhanced partnerships can ensure delivery companies are meeting and delivering on the growing expectations of their customers.

Learn more about how the Delivery Economy is impacting your brand. Read the full report.