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Retail delivery standards – Tomorrow is too late

By Chris Dawson October 14, 2013 - 9:20 am

eBay keep telling us that customers want a choice of next day delivery and free delivery. Amazon give free delivery with SuperSaver and unlimited next day deliveries for a one off £49 per year fee with Amazon Prime. The question is are these really retail standards that consumers expect today?

ao-delivery-optionsAn interesting site is ao.com (Appliances Online). You may have seen a TV ad for them as they’re now offering same day delivery on domestic white goods. They actually have four delivery options, Free 2-3 day delivery, £9.99 order by midnight for next day delivery, £29.99 order before midday for same day delivery, and eco delivery where if they’re in your area they’ll offer to deliver early. Not only that, but they also deliver 7 days a week should you prefer a weekend delivery!

The reason they can offer this is that DRL, the company behind ao.com, acquired Manchester-based white goods distribution company Expert Logistics from Iceland in 2009. They’re also a pretty big operation handling fulfilment for Sainsbury’s, Boots, Next, House of Fraser, Marks & Spencer, Debenhams, Shop Direct Group, Screw Fix, Empire Direct, Argos and B&Q.

It makes a lot of sense to offer a same day delivery service for white goods. Just about every time I’ve wanted to purchase an appliance at bricks & mortar retailers it’s been out of stock and they’ve only got a more expensive model in stock to take away on the day. Buy from ao.com and you can have delivery within hours, with the bonus you’ve not got to have an estate car to get your purchase home.

It’s no wonder eBay and Google are experimenting with same day delivery, whilst today next day delivery is becoming the retail standard it won’t be long until our customers are used to same day delivery. One thing is for sure however, if you’re still only offering a 3 or 5 day service your customers will start to consider you tardy.

It’s not that consumers need everything delivered today, or even tomorrow. It’s just that they’re becoming accustomed to same day or next day delivery being the retail standard. Whilst many marketplace sellers will never have the resources to offer same day delivery themselves, we should at least be looking to offer next day delivery as an option to our customers.

  • 3 years ago

    Nice work Chris. They have the freezer I was after at a great price.

    Will have to settle for next day though, no same day delivery in Cornwall :D

    • 3 years ago

      Oops sorry, should have said the same day only covers about 75% of the country… still impressive though!

    • northumbrian
      3 years ago

      they still clean their clothes by beating them with a river rock, in cornwall so it dont matter, though at least they have clothes, up here we make do with wode and animal skins

    • 3 years ago

      Only in North Cornwall Norf.

    • 3 years ago

      No clothes around here just animal skins.

  • Jimbo
    3 years ago

    I guess it depends what you are buying and quick delivery to replace a faulty cooker or washing machine would certainly be appreciated however I find very very few people buying from us select “next day delivery” and I would very rarely select a “paid for” delivery option over a free standard delivery.

    In my opinion these superfast delivery methods are definitely being pushed by retailers rather than driven by consumers.

    The next step is free same day delivery.

  • Stuart
    3 years ago

    It is all great news but not when you sell items for £10 and customer expect the same service and you only have Royal Mail available to use as a standard service.

    I also wonder with Ebay etc banging on about items arriving quicker if the whole system can really cope with this yet? Delivery and logistics are still falling short of coping with the demand that online puts on it.

    I dropped my Amazon Prime account last year as three consecutive orders did not arrive next day and amazon just say this is beyond their control, no refunds offered for this.

    • 3 years ago

      This is what pees me off about Royal Mail and Amazon – Ebay and what is shown to customers.
      Customers see 1st class as 1 day – next day and 2nd class as 2 -3 days.
      What we have to show customers is that hidden away Royal Mail wont classify items as lost or delayed until 15 WORKING DAYS.
      I know it’s not what a customer wants to hear but when we get phone calls and emails saying it’s needed for a birthday tomorrow I truthfully tell them there is NO guarantee at all on 1st class.

      It’s the game we all have to play and what we put up with as sellers. If we don’t like it then go and sell elsewhere but I do try to live in the REAL world and I wish some of these other companies would do too and be honest.
      (Rant over. Time to go and pack some more orders that will be delivered tomorrow as they are 1st class)

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