A new key differentiator in multichannel retailing
Multichannel retailing has broken down the division between online and brick-and-mortar stores. It has provided openings for each to venture into one another’s territories and cut into each other’s market shares.
Today the physical dimensions brick-and-mortar premises no longer limit the amount or variety of products available to shoppers. Customers can place an online or store kiosk order to ensure that their item (if necessary, shipped from another store or warehouse) will be ready for them to pick up.
Online retailers are also expanding on their selection. Groceries – fresh food in particular – are still mainly purchased in neighborhood supermarkets and hypermarts. However, at least one online giant is piloting online grocery shopping in large cities, promising same- or next-day delivery, depending on when the order is placed.
While multichannel retailers have been successful in finding ways to enhance the shopping experience (the end of 2013 marked the first time in history that the Internet topped the list of favorite shopping ‘venues’), numerous surveys and studies reveal that customers find the post-purchase experience less agreeable. Among the top differentiators for multichannel stores is fast and reliable delivery.
This paper explores the benefits and challenges of same-day delivery. It demonstrates how multichannel retailers can make the most of their resources and intelligence to provide this unique service while keeping costs low and customer service levels high.