The right delivery strategy is essential to the success of your online retail businesses in what is an increasingly competitive market. It promotes customer loyalty, helping you to grow and maintain your customer base, and enables you to control margin and balance service levels. However, getting your delivery strategy wrong could result in lost customers and sales, margin erosion, and falling short of customer expectations.

A 2021 BearingPoint survey across three European countries has revealed that delivery speed is not the dominant factor in customer decision-making, and that there are major variations in delivery preferences and in customer decision-making from country to country and depending on the type of product and customer purchasing mission. This points to the fact that there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach and that your delivery offerings must be designed according to the business you’re in, where you operate, and your customers’ specific wants and needs.

Our analytics show that, across a series of products and shopping missions, you can reduce costs, manage operational capacity, and increase customer retention by offering customers a suite of delivery options that covers all their different needs and buying behaviors. This will combine an appropriate mix of fast options at suitable prices and slower options for cheaper. By doing this, you can meet the needs of all customers, without overserving them and therefore losing margin.

There are three key steps that you must take as an online retail business to make sure your delivery propositions retain customers and preserve margin:

  1. Use data to go beyond perceptions to understand specific, local customer behavior
  2. Optimize your delivery offers by balancing customers’ desires with fulfillment costs
  3. Fine-tune delivery options for different business scenarios and predict uptake to optimize operational efficiency

All this activity needs to be informed by data, both from surveys and your own operational data.

  • Fine-tune your delivery propositions study
    Fine-tune your delivery propositions study 12.1 MB Download
  • Fine-tune your delivery propositions infographic
    Fine-tune your delivery propositions infographic 169.88 KB Download

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  • Elisabeth Denner