On-time delivery is important more important than ever. According to recent Voxware research, 14% of respondents indicated that they were likely to stop shopping with a retailer after receiving just a single late delivery. The research also speaks to a simple philosophy: consumers consider an item to be on time if it arrives on the promised delivery date and late if it arrives on the following day or later.
But how will consumer expectations change as companies offer faster and faster delivery speeds? During today’s second annual mid-summer Prime Day promotion, Amazon will offer one-hour shipping for 500 items to customers in 25 metropolitan areas as part of the Prime Now Delivery Service. For these customers, the window of when a package must arrive in order to be considered on time will shrink from one day to one hour.
While near-immediate shipping isn’t likely to be in demand across the industry for some time, the consumers who order items with one hour delivery today will expect that Amazon has implemented the technological infrastructure to get that item to their doorstep in under an hour. In practical terms, that means that the distribution team must be able to pick and pack orders in a matter of minutes to allow maximum time for delivery. It also means that distributions operations must be able to see outside the distribution center to identify possible obstacles such as traffic delays or weather conditions that may delay the order after it has departed for delivery.
Even though few retailers can make so bold an offer as to guarantee delivery within an hour (even on a once-a-year basis), what retailers should take away from Amazon’s Prime Day event is an understanding that fast and accurate delivery is becoming more essential in the online purchasing process. To remain competitive, smart companies need to adapt by implementing technologies that exceed accuracy and efficiency demands across a broad spectrum of functions. Fortunately, when companies deploy Voxware’s voice automation VMS software, they can improve fulfillment efficiency by as much as 30%, which is critical to delivering the superior customer experience vital in achieving greater brand loyalty and higher customer lifetime value. Additionally, Intellestra, Voxware’s predictive analytics platform purpose-built for distribution operations, can help team members to anticipate and address changing circumstances throughout the supply chain.
In the meantime, we’ll watch to see if Amazon has taken the steps to ensure customers receive their orders in under an hour. Will Amazon be able to deliver on its promise? Only time, one hour to be exact, will tell.