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Delivery Speed Can Make or Break a Customer Experience

Known as a pioneer in the delivery space, ecommerce powerhouse Amazon has transformed the standards for logistics when it comes to the customer experience. It's had such an impact that shoppers now expect almost immediate delivery after they click “buy now.”

“Amazon is at the core of this burgeoning delivery economy,” said Andy Grygiel, CMO of visibility solutions provider project44. “Where logistics was once and only a cost center, Amazon has turned it into a competitive advantage. For example, a friend of mine told me this situation where his daughter was home from college and she ordered something online with the expectation that it would arrive in 24 to 48 hours. But when she found out it wasn't going to be delivered in that time, she canceled the order and went somewhere else. That timely delivery is really important.”

In a January 2019 survey from digital consultancy Avionos, the largest share of US digital shoppers said that fast shipping makes for a positive retail experience—more so than an easy return policy, friendly customer service reps, or buy online, pick up in-store (BOPUS) options.

Similarly, a June 2019 survey from project44 found that 52% of consumers said cost-effective delivery was equally as important as a product’s price, illustrating that fundamental shift in expectations.

Historically, value for their money topped shoppers’ list of reasons to remain loyal to a company. According to a February 2019 survey from personalized retargeting firm Criteo, two-thirds of US internet users said getting the best value for their money kept them coming back—compared with good customer service (40%) or fast shipping (27%).

As the idea of the customer experience evolves, it’s crucial for marketers to understand the nuances of what this means so they can better serve their shoppers. Grygiel said that marketers often mistake the role that good customer service plays in the path to purchase. He noted that while 65% of marketers considered customer service as a very important factor in the purchase experience, just a quarter of consumers said the same, according to his company's findings.

“Knowing the difference between service and experience is key," Grygiel said. "Consumers really want a seamless experience. And today, that includes a good delivery experience."