Fast survey results make the case for same-day delivery

U.S. Auto Parts used a survey tool from Usability Sciences to gauge consumer interest.

Paul Demery

Same-day delivery is a hot topic among some online retailers and delivery companies, but do consumers really want it enough to pay more for it? U.S. Auto Parts Network, No. 89 in the 2013 Internet Retailer Top 500, wanted to find out—and soon.

“We wanted to quantify interest in a radical new service option,” CEO Shane Evangelist says. “To gain competitive advantage, we needed answers quickly.”

But using the retailer’s usual survey method, which gathers a range of customer feedback through a periodic pop-up survey question to one of every 100 home page visitors, would have taken too long to set up through its in-house I.T. department, he adds. To install code for a short, stand-alone survey on same-day delivery, the retailer’s research team would have had to wait weeks for the I.T. department’s next scheduled change to its general survey.

Instead, U.S. Auto Parts used the new OnCue research application from Usability Sciences Corp. in a beta test program. The retailer was able to set up and activate on its site within a single day a six-question branching survey, eliciting information on whether site visitors were interested in same-day/night delivery of items ordered online, and, if so, what price they were willing to pay for such services.

OnCue operates as a tag management system that lets a retailer set up and control survey software without the involvement of an I.T. department, Evangelist says. “OnCue tags effectively turn our web site into an always-on research channel,” he says.

The survey went up on the retailer’s on site on a Friday; by the following Monday morning, U.S. Auto Parts had some 4,000 responses. “The interest in the new services was overwhelmingly positive,” Evangelist says.

The initial response, however, made the retailer want more information, he adds. “Seeing the initial data, I immediately wanted to quantify the conversion lift the new service could create,” Evangelist says.

The retailer’s research team set up a modified survey later that week to ascertain how many site visitors would be likely to complete an online purchase on the retailer’s site with same-day delivery rather than buy the same item from a local store. With the responses indicating a lift in conversion rates, the retailer went on to test and then launch same-day delivery service in Los Angeles in the first quarter of this year. Evangelist declines to comment on actual conversion rates stemming from the same-day delivery program.

OnCue is designed to work with several survey software applications, including from SurveyMonkey and SurveyGizmo. U.S. Auto Parts didn’t comment on the survey software it uses.

The cost to use the OnCue application ranges from $25 per month or $250 per year for small retailers with up to 50,000 page views per month, to $499 per month or $4,990 per year for large retailers with up to 4 million page views per month. For larger retailers with more than 4 million page views per month, Usability Sciences offers special enterprise contract pricing.

Usability Sciences plans to unveil the OnCue application at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition 2013, at booth No. 560, this week in Chicago.


2013 Internet Retailer Top 500, I.T., Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition, IRCE 2013, OnCue, same-day delivery, Shane Evangelist, survey software, SurveyGizmo, SurveyMonkey, U.S. Auto Parts Network, Usability Sciences Corp.