Logistics industry research continues to show a shift in consumer buying habits over the past two years, with a greater reliance on online shopping and home delivery services, even as pandemic-related restrictions disappear.
The trend is forcing retailers to find ways to improve last-mile logistics, according to supply chain technology firm FarEye, which provides a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform for delivery management. The company surveyed 1,000 U.S. consumers in March and found that 39% said they would not give retailers a second chance after a poor delivery experience. Nearly 37% said they changed their opinion of a brand following a bad delivery experience.
“At-home deliveries are the new competitive battlefield for brands and retailers. As e-commerce continues to boom, customers are mandating the buying experience includes superior at-home deliveries,” Judd Marcello, chief marketing officer for FarEye, said in a press release announcing the survey results. “Our survey emphasized the need for retailers to see deliveries as a key differentiator in their offering and critical to creating satisfied, loyal customers.”
The survey identified a range of e-commerce related trends and their effects on the supply chain, including a greater reliance on real-time communication. A quarter of survey respondents said they expect access to real-time tracking information and up-to-date order location notifications throughout the order to delivery process, for example. And although 30% of respondents said they expect to do most of their shopping in-person post-pandemic, a considerable number expect to continue shopping from home. Thirty-two percent of respondents said they are doing more online shopping since the spring of 2020, and 65% of online shoppers reported preferring home delivery over in-store pickup, for example.
“This indicates a sustained shift [toward] online shopping and at-home delivery versus in-store shopping and pick-up,” according to the research, which also found that consumers are most likely to purchase in-store due to immediacy (40%) and for product testing (37%).
“In this environment, brands' definition of the customer experience must expand to include in-store, online and at home,” Marcello also said. “As customers weigh whether or not to return to stores amid lifting pandemic restrictions, it is becoming even more important for e-tailers to recreate the in-person experience virtually and through stand-out deliveries.”