What do competitors do to increase conversion?
Our competitor tracker software can see that retailers still rely on outdated delivery methods, clearing the way for competitors with improved service to step in and make the sale. For many, the delivery is based on a chain that involves retailers entrusting a consumer’s package to a logistics company. It’s loaded onto a van, taken to a national hub, a regional hub then sent out for delivery from the local depot. The track said parcel, and you’ll probably find it’s clocked up more miles than you have that month! It can seem very wasteful to have a container heading up and down the UK a few times before it reaches you, but that’s the way logistics work. Is that inefficiency really what we’re stuck with, though? It seems unlikely, as companies are already looking at hi-tech alternatives.
Is drone delivery the future?
On the extreme side of the spectrum, California-based business ‘MatterNet’ specializes in medical supplies and specimens, and they’ve recently taken the first tentative steps into the world of drone delivery. These unmanned flying robots can fly direct from A to B without worrying about getting stuck in traffic or inclement conditions. It’s not just goods they entrust to drones, either. Their drones carry blood samples to labs, allowing scientists to start work straight away. The company is also trialing drone delivery of medical supplies to disaster zones. For example, it would be difficult to get a lorry load of bandages and equipment to physicians treating the wounded.
Of course, there are limits to a drone’s capability. Battery capacity means drones can only travel short distances, so fulfillment centers would only deliver to relative locals via drone. There’s also the weight limit – it seems unlikely that a little quad-copter drone would be able to provide your new washing machine.
SMACIT’s price comparison software can identify every one of your competitor’s shipping rates and services. We can see that Amazon is still the biggest name in online shopping, and thanks to their delivery options, there’s a delivery service for everyone’s needs. Free shipping over £20? They offer that. Free next-day delivery for Prime subscribers? They deliver that, too. A particular delivery time on a day of your choice? They can arrange that for you. We all like a good deal, and free delivery at a time of our choosing is spoiling us all rotten. This is undoubtedly the future of online delivery.
How to give customers what they want
The problem is, once we’ve got a taste for the “I want it now” lifestyle, anything less than that is now classed as undesirable. Expensive shipping costs, no online tracking service, and no guarantee on your purchase’s arrival date are off-putting. Let’s imagine that Lucy wants a pair of trainers. Shop A sells them for £30, with free next-day delivery. Shop B sells them for £25, but it’s £5 for postage, and delivery is within two to three days. The total cost is the same, but given the choice of sitting at home for three days in the hope, your new shoes may turn up or purchase from a retailer who can guarantee you’ll be wearing them tomorrow can swing the deal of a dithering buyer. This kind of data that retailers can utilize to their best advantage through SMACIT’s price tracking tool.
Of course, with the advent of digital items, such as music or game downloads, which can be delivered to your computer in seconds, we’re already enjoying an instant gratification system. Perhaps one day all our goods will be beamed across to us this way. After all, a lot of the space-age innovations imagined in 1960s sci-fi are already with us. It’s only time for technology to realise these future dreams of delivery.