Australians can be a demanding bunch – especially when it comes to online shopping.
According to research by Lithium Technologies, customer expectations are rising sharply in Australia as we embrace the conveniences of the ecommerce revolution.
The study revealed that Australians are among the most demanding and impatient internet shoppers in the world – 72 per cent of us expect a same-day response to online enquiries compared to 66 per cent of Americans.
That adds up to a potential nightmare for ecommerce businesses that must run the gauntlet of balancing rising customer expectations against real-world limitations.
The rise of three-hour delivery
New entrants – particularly in the fashion sector – have been driving up customer expectations around delivery speeds for the last several years.
Online fashion retailer, The Iconic, rocked the market with three-hour delivery to metro areas in Sydney and Melbourne when the company launched in 2011. And other companies have been quick to follow suit.
That’s led online consumers, particularly in metro Sydney and Melbourne, to expect same-day delivery as a near standard – and at low cost.
The Iconic and Styletread, for example, both charge just $12.95 for three-hour delivery to Sydney. Peppermayo is even cheaper at $10.95.
Click to collect
But that’s not the end of the story.
Omni-channel retailers (those who sell online and in a traditional bricks-and-mortar retail store) are also racing to bypass extended delivery timeframes by giving customers the option to buy online and pick up their purchase in person from their retail location.
Known as ‘click to collect’, this puts pure online retailers who compete with traditional retail brands such as Harvey Norman and Myer at a disadvantage as customers who are unwilling to wait or pay for delivery can combine the convenience of online shopping with free in-store pickup.
That’s just another reason why online retailers must offer fast, cheap and easy delivery if they are to compete.
So what does this mean for your ecommerce business?
The trend coming out of the US and Europe is for ecommerce businesses to offer express same-day delivery as a paid optional extra, with free shipping on standard deliveries to sweeten the deal for longer waits.
This is quickly becoming standard practice among Australia’s leading online retailers, but of course comes with some serious cost considerations.
Although this puts an extra squeeze on profit margins, as retailers scrimp to cover costs, or results in price hikes where ecommerce businesses build delivery costs into the overall price of their products, it’s still a pretty smart strategy.
By putting the decision in your customer’s hands, you’re giving them the power to make the choice that satisfies their personal expectations with a clear benefit to each option – that is, pay for speed or save on standard.
Example shipping times within Australia
|Route||Parcel Post||Road Courier||Air Express|
|Sydney to Melbourne||2-3 days||1-2 days||Next day|
|Sydney to Brisbane||2-3 days||1-2 days||Next day|
|Sydney to Adelaide||3-4 days||2-3 days||Next day|
|Sydney to Perth||5-6 days||5-7 days||Next day|
|Melbourne to Sydney||2-3 days||1-2 days||Next day|
|Melbourne to Brisbane||3-4 days||2-3 days||Next day|
|Melbourne to Adelaide||2-3 days||1-2 days||Next day|
|Melbourne to Perth||5-6 days||4-7 days||Next day|
|Brisbane to Sydney||2-3 days||1-2 days||Next day|
|Brisbane to Melbourne||3-4 days||2-3 days||Next day|
|Brisbane to Adelaide||5-6 days||3-4 days||Next day|
|Brisbane to Perth||5-6 days||7-10 days||Next day|
|Adelaide to Sydney||3-4 days||2-3 days||Next day|
|Adelaide to Melbourne||2-3 days||1-2 days||Next day|
|Adelaide to Brisbane||5-6 days||3-4 days||Next day|
|Adelaide to Perth||5-6 days||3-6 days||Next day|
|Perth to Sydney||5-6 days||5-7 days||Next day|
|Perth to Melbourne||5-6 days||5-7 days||Next day|
|Perth to Brisbane||5-6 days||7-10 days||Next day|
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