Consumers’ delivery expectations are inflexible

10… 9…. 8…. Who doesn’t love the drama of a good countdown – which, in NASA parlance, now sits at T minus 10 days and is counting.

This is, of course, the Christmas Countdown Clock, a device that is not only anxiety-provoking for kids and adults (albeit for different reasons), but also available digitally online. free, or for sale in 1,000 different varieties of shelving or walls – many of which, according to Amazon, can still be delivered in time for the big day.

While he is not passing judgment on the late purchase of a calendar that would only have 20% of its useful life by the time it arrives, the product is not the issue here.

The product – any product – is the premise. Consumer expectations haven’t bowed at all, and months of warnings and holiday shopping calls and sales earlier than ever have done little to speed up our buying – and, to in turn, have re-given this procrastination as a logistical giveaway to retailers across the country scrambling to deliver.

“Consumers are not slacking off retailers this holiday season,” said Khaled Naim, CEO of Onfleet, a San Francisco-based last mile delivery company that has made more than 100 million deliveries to 80 countries. But even though consumers are aware of supply chain issues, he said their expectation of fast and timely delivery is intact, forging a reality that is both a challenge and an opportunity.

“There is no shortage of stories about supply chain delays and the impact on retailers, but buyers expect to receive their purchases quickly regardless,” Naim told PYMNTS, noting that while “the model Amazon “may have defined this mindset. motion Twenty years ago, many other retailers have since joined the chorus, either by choice or by necessity.

“The new rapid trade players emerging from the pandemic have reinforced the importance for retailers to have a long-term delivery strategy that takes into account consumer expectations, otherwise [they’re] risk market share to competitors who are, ”he said.

Everything about logistics

Whether it’s Christmas presents, groceries or dinner, the heavy weight of delivery and logistics has never been so tight, so much so that a merchant’s ability to quickly execute a ordering is now often the deciding factor in a purchase.

“Inventory-based decisions are more important than ever,” said Zohar Gilad, CEO of Fast Simon, a California-based e-commerce optimization startup. “Due to supply chain issues and constant customer demands, brand loyalty declines as shoppers rate the speed of buying versus labels. “

According to Gilad, advanced technologies, such as automation and artificial intelligence (AI) for search, merchandising and personalization, are now ‘data for retailers’ as they seek to improve their business efficiency and modernize their strategies of sale.

“What is unique now, given the work / work dynamic and the decreasing duration of [retail] employees, is how quickly retailers can get people up to speed with systems and implement technology – before anyone leaves, ”he said, adding that self-service and with a quick time to market will win.

Involuntary procrastination

Even though consumers have been warned and even begged to shop early – in some cases since Halloween – data from PYMNTS shows that with the end of federal stimulus checks combined with the inflation bite at a 40-year peak, nearly 60% of U.S. households are now living paycheck to paycheck and just don’t have the cash on hand or the credit available to go out and shop when they do. wish.

Also see: Inflation and demise of stimulus payments are pushing paychecks to paychecks Consumers rank higher

In other words, this data suggests that many consumers may not have postponed their purchases because they wanted to, but because they had to.

Even though these dawn of business consumers would like all their purchases and shipping to be made and paid for, they just had to wait until the next payday for it to happen. At this point, with the countdown to Christmas on the 7th this Friday, decision-making will be swift – and driven almost exclusively by product availability and delivery options rather than choice.



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