New research from Internet Retailing shows that the number of Top 500 European retailers offering next-day delivery rose by 50% last year. This means that 24% of the Top 500 retailers in the EEA now offer next-day deliveries.
The UK remains significantly ahead, with 45% of retailers surveyed currently offering the service, but France and the Netherlands are also making significant progress as both saw the figure rise from 6 to 16%. Slightly behind are Belgium and Germany, with figures rising to 14% and 13% respectively.
Same-day deliveries, the next big frontier for last-mile fulfillment
Same-day deliveries can be difficult and costly to achieve from an operational standpoint, but an increasing number of retailers are testing same-dame deliveries as customer demand and expectation grows. New research from Dropoff found that 51% of shoppers are more likely to purchase from retailers who offer same-day deliveries, with 42% especially valuing the service in the purchase of holiday gifts. In fact, 78% of the people surveyed said that they are more likely to buy gifts during the holiday season from merchants offering same-day delivery.
However, providing same-day deliveries is not the ultimate goal. Amazon Prime Now is pushing 2-hour deliveries, specially for grocery delivery. They’re leveraging their acquisition of Whole Foods, providing this service free of charge for Prime members across a growing number of major cities including Boston, Chicago, Baltimore, San Antonio, Houston, Minneapolis, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Long Island, lower Manhattan, and Brooklyn. What’s more, for an additional $7.99 fee, Amazon will deliver Whole Food groceries within an hour in those locations.
European fashion giants Zara and H&M testing same-day delivery
Although clothing giants H&M and Zara have lagged behind in regards to e-commerce and delivery logistics, mounting pressure from strong e-commerce players such as ASOS, Next and Zalando is pushing them to evolve fast. Last month, H&M announced that they’re testing same-day delivery with customers who live in Berlin. Their express delivery method is only applicable to orders received before 10:00 AM, which will be delivered between 7 and 10 PM on the same day for a fee of €5.99.
Zara is taking a different approach by turning their vast retail network into fulfilment hubs. The the Wall Street Journal reported that the company is converting 2,000 stores in 48 countries to fulfill online orders in an effort to reduce out of stock situations on e-commerce orders, boost sales of full-priced items, and compete with the speed and convenience of Amazon. In addition, they will begin shipping from stores in an effort to further help accelerating their online business. Shipping will include same-day delivery services in seven cities (Madrid, London, Paris, Istanbul, Shanghai, Taipei and Sydney) and next-day deliveries in other cities across Spain, France, the UK, China, Poland and South Korea.
These rapid changes have come about since customers have changed their perception of delivery speed and convenience, which have moved from being considered ‘added value’ to becoming an essential element of the online shopping experience. As next-day deliveries become the norm and same-day deliveries increase in popularity, retailers need to reappraise their entire supply chain and the last-mile in particular. With tech developments in the last mile outpacing expectations, it is the turn of retailers to make the changes in their organizations that are required in order to fulfill customer expectations and remain competitive in a market which is evolving at lightning speed.