Though much more yes than no, experts find. While Apple remains cagey about new privacy protections in iOS 8, experts say retailers can indeed ...
The average time it took to receive an order dropped to 4.05 days, down 15% from 4.76 days a year ago, according to data gathered by e-commerce consultancy The E-tailing Group.
The average time it took to receive an order dropped to 4.05 days, down 15% from 4.76 days a year ago, according to data gathered by e-commerce consultancy The E-tailing Group. In 2007, the average ship time was 4.18 days. The E-tailing Group compiled its shipping data by ordering products from 100 e-commerce web sites that represent a cross-section of merchants selling consumer product categories online.
The time it takes to receive an order can represent a significant competitive advantage, says Lauren Freedman, E-tailing Group president. “It’s a point of differentiation,” she says.
But speeding up delivery, particularly in the wake of Amazon.com Inc.’s October announcement that it would offer same-day delivery in seven cities, is difficult for many smaller online retailers, she says. “At some point anything-including speeding up ship times-can be done for a price,” she says. “But can you recoup the volume necessary to do so? There are only so many at such a high volume that can do it.”
As a result, Freedman says online retailers need to find new ways to differentiate themselves, such as offering high-quality customer service. “For me, that can be the reason I buy from a particular site,” she says. “To me, that’s worth $5. Service is a big thing. But for a lot of people that don’t mind operating with self-service it’s not. So retailers need to figure out what their customers want.”
Another way for retailers with bricks-and-mortar stores to help customers is to allow consumers to check whether a product is in-stock at a particular location. The number offering such an option is steadily increasing. This year 29% of the stores the group mystery shopped at featured an in-store locator, up from 26% a year ago and 20% in 2007. “It’s another thing retailers can do to make the shopping experience more convenient,” says Freedman.