“No single company has had as great of an impact in the marketplace as Amazon. It has changed the behavior of both buyers and sellers and also how shipping and logistics providers deliver,” said Mark Schoeman, CEO of the Colography Group, according to the Forbes Insights Report “Shipping as Strategy: How Small and Midsize Retailers Can Best Meet Customers’ Delivery Expectations in the Age of Amazon.”
And you don’t have to take his word for it: if you’re an Amazon shopper, you’ve probably experienced Amazon’s effect on your own shopping experiences. A seemingly endless selection of products from a wide variety of sellers. Easy returns with very few questions asked. Shipping options ranging from standard shipping to Amazon Prime’s two-day shipping, to Amazon Prime Now (their same-day delivery option).
Retailers of all sizes struggle to compete with Amazon in all these areas, but none is more apparent than logistics. Amazon’s massive infrastructure allows it to write its own ticket when it comes to shipping and delivery, including a network of distribution centers and delivery drivers. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
The recent Forbes Insights Report, written in association with USPS partner, Pitney Bowes, details retailers’ efforts to keep up with Amazon, using traditional delivery methods like FedEx, UPS, and USPS. In their survey of 700,000+ businesses, they found the following:
- - 65% of all packages are sent using U.S. carriers.
- - 91% of respondents have used their delivery and shipping system for four years or longer.
Small and mid-sized retailers stand to gain by evaluating their current delivery operations to find more efficient methods to deliver goods to consumers.
A same-day delivery service like Dropoff can become a part of a broader retail shipping and delivery strategy, offering customers a faster way to receive items, meanwhile keeping up with high delivery expectations.
The Shipping as Strategy report outlines a series of features any retailer should look for in a shipping partner. Here are just a few areas where Dropoff stacks up:
- - Shipping and delivery partners must offer Flexible Payment Terms to meet the highly-fluctuating needs of retailers, so they can access the delivery services they need without breaking the bank.
- *Dropoff offers Upfront Pricing prior to delivery so retailers know what to expect - and they can easily compare with other shipping options.
- - A Priority Mail Guarantee (USPS) provides a committed delivery date to both retailers
- and customers expecting shipments.
- *Dropoff provides that same commitment, and Real-time package tracking so shippers and receivers both know exactly where that package is - and when it will arrive.
- - Finding a partner that offers a nimble Restful API can offer substantial benefits in letting the retailers focus on strategy and their customers instead of on technology and “hand-holding.”
- *Dropoff’s Scalable & Feature-rich API allows retailers to plug into Dropoff’s platform, integrate the delivery process with checkout, pull up-to-the-minute ETAs, pricing, and live-map location.
And what are the most important takeaways from the report? In order to succeed, retailers should:
- - Develop a shipping and delivery strategy that incorporates multiple partners.
- - Implement automation to help your business and support a multicarrier strategy. Automate your processes as much as you can from click to delivery.
- - Draw up a plan for high-volume shipping times, like the holiday season.
- - Look for partners that can provide service guarantees, APIs that are easy to work with, and favorable pricing and payment terms, all of which should lead to deeper savings.
According to Dropoff’s holiday survey data, over two-thirds of holiday shoppers plan to shop at the last minute, and a whopping 90% of those shoppers report that they’re more likely to shop with retailers who offer same-day delivery.
Now is the time to add same-day delivery to your arsenal of shipping options. Contact Dropoff to learn how your business can get started.