delivery timeframes

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.

You can add Peppermayo, Bronzesnake, and 3HourDress to the growing list of online retailers who can get their products in the hands of their metro online customers in as little as three hours.

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

Ready to start shipping? New customers get a quote, or existing members please sign in.

Want more? Then why not download the entire guide: