The Post-Pandemic Consumer: Delivery Experience Matters Most

If you received a package that was delayed or you had a poor delivery experience, would you give a retailer a second chance? 39% of shoppers who were polled in a March 2022 FarEye consumer survey said NO. The pandemic shifted not only the way we shop, but our delivery expectations have changed too. Can retailers adapt to these new consumer expectations?

Our Front Doors Are the New Storefront

In 2020, the world changed and out of necessity, so did our shopping habits. As in-store shopping became more difficult or impossible, the world increasingly turned to e-commerce to secure their goods. Retailers were able to ship all sorts of products to us and we received them at home more quickly than ever before. Technology allowed our front doors to become the new storefront.

Post-pandemic, consumers’ delivery expectations have changed. Amazon has changed the world of retail, offering two-day delivery, then one-day and now offering same-day shipping. The window in which consumers expect to receive their goods has become smaller and smaller. Consumers have come to expect more and more from retailers and the delivery is seen as an extension of the brand.

Customer experience is key in delineating brands from each other in the minds of consumers. Retailers need to understand that delivery experience heavily impacts consumer loyalty.

How important is the delivery experience to consumers?

FarEye conducted a consumer survey to learn more about consumers’ current shopping habits and their delivery expectations post-pandemic. The research found that superior delivery experiences are essential to satisfy and keep online shoppers. 36.8% of consumers changed their opinion of a brand due to a bad experience. And if consumers are unhappy, 39% of them will not give that retailer a second chance to deliver.

“At-home deliveries are the new competitive battlefield for brands and retailers. As e-commerce continues to boom, customers are mandating that the buying experience includes superior at-home deliveries,” said Judd Marcello, Chief Marketing Officer, FarEye.

What delivery expectations do consumers have?

Consumers have come to expect supply chain disruptions, which have continued in part due to world events beyond the pandemic. FarEye’s research reveals that nearly 32% of consumers polled expect longer delivery times, but real-time communication from the retailer or brand is key to keeping them satisfied. 25% of consumers expect access to real-time tracking information and up-to-date order location notifications from the time of order through to delivery.

Additionally, 34% of consumers expect orders to be shipped in a timely manner so that it reaches them quickly. And 19% expect their orders to arrive by the delivery date that was provided. More than a third of consumers polled wanted all three: timely shipping, real-time order notifications and for their orders to arrive when promised. Disappointing consumers in any of these areas risks losing customer loyalty.

FarEye’s Marcello agrees and says, “Our survey emphasized the need for retailers to see deliveries as a key differentiator in their offering and critical to creating satisfied, loyal customers.”

Consumers Will Still Shop Retail In-Person

In-person retail shopping is not going away. FarEye’s research shows one-third of consumers plan to do most of their shopping in person. When shoppers do choose to shop in stores, the research reveals that 40% of consumers choose in-person for immediacy and 37% do so to test products; to touch, feel and learn more about them before purchasing. For retailers, the challenge will be to recreate in-store experiences online and through deliveries.

“In this environment, brands’ definition of the customer experience must expand to include in-store, online and at home,” notes Marcello. “It is becoming even more important for e-tailers to recreate the in-person experience virtually and through stand-out deliveries.”

To see more about FarEye’s consumer research, click here.

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