With all the hype and talk about same-day omnichannel and ecommerce order fulfillment and delivery, a recent UPS and corCom survey showed that 50% of online customers will select longer delivery times in order to get free shipping. Four out of five online consumers named free shipping as a top decision maker influencing who they purchase from. Likewise, 88% of the ominichannel and ecommerce customers surveyed read the fine print about returns on a retailer's website and 52% of online customers surveyed wanted a return label enclosed in the box. This attention to detail shows that organizations need to have a consumer-friendly returns policy, otherwise it will directly impact their bottom line sales.
So what does this mean for the non-Amazon™ and Walmart™ sized omnichannel retailers? It means your ominichannel and ecommerce business future can be controlled by your decisions. Providing your customers with free shipping without affecting profits can be accomplished by implementing the lowest operations cost possible. By strategically using best practices, clean processes and simple automation, virtually all organizations can dramatically reduce their operating costs in order to offset costs incurred for free shipping. The process starts by analyzing your current order profiles, commonalities, inventory levels, space and labor utilization. Once those are analyzed and understood, the next step should be a review of internal processes, material handling equipment and systems utilization to verify high levels of efficiency. Areas that don't align simply need to be planned, budgeted and implemented.
The study, analysis and implementation process will take time and resources, but the end result will be dramatic and will free up the overhead required to pay for the free shipping. Examples of reducing labor by 2/3s, space savings of over 85% and accuracy levels that hit 99.99%+ are all achievable by utilizing systems which match your inventory and order profiles. The cost of these systems aren't necessarily dramatic, but the return on investment and internal rate of returns often are.
A good example to consider is the survey identifying 52% of the omnichannel and ecommerce consumer respondents wanting return labels in their order when they open the box. This is easily accomplished utilizing an automated document and manifest printer and inserter system capable of 3,000 orders an hour for an investment starting at under $29,000. This solution can practically be implemented over a weekend. Not a huge impact that offers a fast return on investment which impacts 52% of your potential customers... fast and easy solution!
Thinking about how to solve these or other issues? Let ISD perform a free space and labor survey and we can show you how to not just compete, but beat Amazon™, Walmart™ and the other omnichannel and ecommerce retailers!