Part 2 of a 3-part holiday shopping, shipping and returns series highlighting results from our biennial consumer survey
It’s well documented that the 2018 holiday shopping season is trending upwards for retailers, thanks in part to a healthy economy and strong consumer confidence. In fact, we found 83% of consumers in our biennial holiday survey said they intended to purchase more gifts this year than they did in 2017. Actual sales results reported indicate that 2018 was the year that eCommerce purchases far surpassed in-store purchases. In fact, the increase in online purchases rose 23% over 2017 online purchases for the same period. That means a lot of product being shipped in a short period of time.
Just to add a little more pressure to retailers during this busy season, 87% of consumers reported having higher expectations for correct and on-time delivery for items purchased online during the holiday shopping season than they do any other time during the year.
What exactly is on-time delivery in consumers’ minds?
Our survey revealed that 48% of consumers now expect packages to arrive within 2 days using standard shipping. Another 31% expect packages in 3-4 days. Only four percent of consumers have the patience to wait a week for their packages to arrive. Call it the Amazon effect if you will, but consumers have spoken.
That’s fast turnaround to fulfill an order to meet customer demands for 2-day shipping. Rather than risk turning away customers with increased shipping rates, smart retailers should instead implement supply chain technology to reduce their costs of offering fast and free shipping.
Automate, Automate, Automate
By replacing outdated processes (yes, some retailers still rely on paper-based methodologies) with Voxware’s voice automation technology, companies can help recoup fulfillment costs by increasing speed and accuracy for all functions in their distribution operations.
Traditionally voice technology was implemented at the picking process with fast ROI. However, through the years, we have found that clients who deploy voice technology throughout the distribution process regularly see an efficiency improvement of at least 30%, which helps increase fulfillment speed.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
Additionally, companies can also reduce costs by implementing analytics into their distribution operations. Voxware VoxPilot analytics can help retailers reduce shipping costs by pulling real-time data from multiple sources into a single platform. For example, armed with a complete picture of the supply chain, fulfillment managers can decide to reroute orders to leave from a distribution center closer to the customer’s home, thereby reducing shipping costs.
Companies that continue to rely on outdated processes will struggle to meet demand for fast, on-time, and accurate delivery. As consumer-spending levels continue to increase, companies that invest in technology to optimize their operations will see benefits during the holidays and beyond.
Fortunately, Voxware empowers distribution operations to exceed accuracy and efficiency demands across all warehouse functions with its software.
In Part 3 of this series, we will examine the returns process and the role it plays in consumer shopping behaviors. As the holiday shopping season winds down, we’ll find out soon which retailers found success and who has an uphill climb in 2019.
Contact us today to learn more about how Voxware has helped companies automate their distribution operations to improve efficiency and achieve maximize profitability.