By Michael Begg
eCommerce competition seems to be largely driven on one point now – at least the platforms seem to think so. Delivery times have been dropping rapidly over the past year as each major retailer and eCommerce platform attempts to provide better convenience to the end customer.
Each of Amazon, Target and Walmart have made drastic changes to their product delivery in 2019 – even though it is estimated to costs huge sums of money to meet the demand. Whether these changes will be sustainable for the long term or has significant financial consequences for these companies remains to be seen.
The only clear winner seems to be the shopper with added convenience. But as all these businesses create shorter and shorter delivery times will they actually increase consumer loyalty if everyone offers the same delivery times?
Amazon Delivery Times
The premium shipping options available on Amazon are numerous – but the biggest change that Amazon made this year was announcing that they would be shifting Prime 2-Day shipping to 1-Day shipping. They began rolling out 1-Day shipping on some products back in May and have since made it available on more than 10 million products on Amazon.
One-day delivery from Amazon is as much a response to what other retailers had already started to do before them, as we will see below. But along with decreased delivery times, Amazon also made some changes to their delivery costs this year.
Amazon dropped the $14.95 a month fee for their AmazonFresh program to help it compete with other retailers like Walmart that made their own changes to their grocery delivery. The additional $180 a year on top of the already $119 Amazon Prime Membership made it an expensive grocery shopping option for consumers. It will be interesting to see whether the dropped fee leads to a significant increase in sales volume from the AmazonFresh program.
Target Delivery Times
The most significant change in delivery times was arguably made by Target earlier this year. Target announced that same-day delivery would be available in certain markets for online grocery orders – and has since expanded that to cover 47 states.
Target’s retail footprint has allowed them to provide a variety of convenience increasing offers to their shoppers along with the same-day delivery. The retailer’s locations are primarily in large residential markets which has also allowed them to expand their same-day pick up services thereby providing two same-day experiences that consumers can take advantage of.
Shipt was acquired by Target to make their same-day delivery possible. Customers that create a Shipt membership for $99 a year can receive unlimited free same-day delivery – meaning customers could get fresh groceries every single day if they wanted to at a cost less than a Prime Membership. All other shipments over $35 have a flat delivery fee of $9.99.
Walmart Delivery Times
Physical retail locations provide Walmart a delivery time advantage similar to Target. Walmart’s professional grocery picking teams had already been providing in-store pick up services prior to Walmart’s announcement in May that …read more
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