58% of consumers believe same-day delivery options are important, according to ParcelHero’s latest survey. But UK retailers are increasingly cautious about investing in new delivery options now that the pandemic
e-commerce bubble has burst.
New research from the home delivery expert ParcelHero shows 58% of online shoppers believe same-day delivery options are important; up from 56% last year and just 33% in 2020.
With demand for same-day deliveries developing so rapidly, those retailers slow to react to the growth of ‘instant deliveries’ could find themselves left far behind, warns ParcelHero.
ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks M.I.L.T., says: ‘Our latest consumer survey shows, increasingly, shoppers want their favourite stores to offer similar delivery options to Amazon Prime. Although changes in attitudes weren’t as striking as last year’s survey, there are still clear pointers to the future of retail deliveries.
Significantly, 58% of online shoppers now think same-day delivery options are important (up from 56% in 2022 and just 33% in 2020). In addition, 65% expect next-day delivery options (up from 62% in 2022 and 44% in 2020) and 60% want specific, 2-hour time slots (up from 55% in 2022 and 44% in 2020).
However, these results come at a time when some retailers appear to be slowing down plans for launching same-day deliveries. At the same time, certain retailers that have existing superfast delivery options are introducing new restrictions. For example, Amazon has just introduced new fees on its same-day deliveries for Prime members. As of this week, it now charges members an extra £1.99 for same-day orders under £20. Previously, the cost was entirely covered by shoppers Prime membership fees.
Other retailers also appear to be less enthusiastic than they were about same-day deliveries. For example, back in July 2021, the former Marks & Spencer boss Steve Rowe announced – to some fanfare – that the store would become the first big fashion chain to offer nationwide, same-day deliveries. He told the press that it would mean shoppers could get clothes they need, from lingerie to school uniforms, within hours. So far, there’s little to indicate M&S nationwide same-day clothing deliveries are happening any day soon.
Currently, an A-Z of the major non-food retailers offering same-day deliveries gets little further than the letter “A”, with Amazon, Argos and ASOS being the main national players. That’s in addition to speciality retailers of products such as flowers and alcohol. Regionally, large department stores such as Selfridges and Net-a-Porter offer same-day deliveries to certain postcodes.
Clearly, the number of retailers offering a same-day option must increase as consumer demand becomes more insistent. In fact, despite its new same-day minimum order charges, Amazon is still clearly excited by same-day options. It recently told the “Wall Street Journal” that more than 1.5 million customers a month are trying same-day deliveries for the first time.
As a result, in the US, Amazon has now launched a major expansion of the number of goods it offers for same-day deliveries. It has opened many more same-day facilities, with these smaller fulfilment centres situated near large cities in order to quickly deliver the most popular items in the company’s range. More than 150 of these same-day facilities might be opened in the next few years. These smaller fulfilment centres could also work well here in the UK.
Though stalled for now, M&S’ precipitous announcement of same-day fashion deliveries made similar logistical sense, with items dispatched from M&S’ many nationwide stores. Rowe said at the time: “People think of the store portfolio as an albatross around our neck but I don’t think it is. We can be where our customers want and they can choose how quickly they want it.”
Mirroring this model, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and other retailers should also be able to move beyond local food deliveries to offer larger ranges of same-day fashion, toys and homeware products. Instead of dedicated distribution centres, superstores with armies of in-store pickers could expand to fulfil non-grocery items. During the pandemic we also saw the growth of so-called “dark stores”. Lacking physical shoppers, these only serve online orders, particularly of same-day products.
To learn more about dark stores and how retailers can adapt their existing infrastructure to meet same-day expectations, see ParcelHero’s study at: https://www.parcelhero.com/research/shop-of-the-future