Delivery now a key differentiator as uptake of next-day exceeds standard
Last month IMRG reported that next-day delivery had overtaken standard economy options for the first time ever in its UK Delivery Index. Consumers’ desire for convenience and instant gratification means next-day is no longer a service people only pay for in an emergency – it’s becoming the norm.
Retailers have definitely driven this trend – with next-day now more affordable and an added temptation to get shoppers up to the ‘free delivery threshold’. Subscriptions are bigger business too. Boohoo, ASOS and Amazon all offer unlimited next-day delivery for a small yearly fee; helping to tie in shoppers long-term and fuelling their addiction to getting their hands on items quicker.
More retailers are now offering ‘select your date’ deliveries at the same price as next-day – giving shoppers even more convenience. Meanwhile, same-day delivery services continue to grow in popularity – Argos offering this as its standard paid option and Amazon trialling drone deliveries that get items to customers in less than half an hour! These advances mean Click & Collect growth could start to plateau. Indeed ‘Don’t Click & Collect’ is gathering momentum, with brands like River Island and eBay partnering companies such as Shuttl to deliver items buyers might have collected!
But not everyone’s able to keep up with the trend for quicker delivery. Out of 40 key fashion players in the UK we found only 1 in 5 offer free or low-priced (under £4) next-day options – many relying instead on their free Click & Collect propositions to offer value and speed. As expectations of speedier delivery look set to build, we’re intrigued to see how retailers will react.