Jim Agger
 
April 28, 2014 | eCommerce , Fulfillment/Shipping | Jim Agger

Preparing for instant gratification in ecommerce fulfillment

Consumers are increasingly putting pressure on retailers to offer more convenient shipping options and they want deliveries to be free. In the past, one of the major barriers to online sales was the delay in instant gratification. Companies like Amazon and eBay are piloting same-day delivery programs and many other ecommerce stores may follow suit, according to Multichannel Merchant.

Brands are trying to move products to consumers in less time than ever before. Even traditional retailers like Wal-Mart are attempting to use their stores as fulfillment centers to more efficiently reach online customers, The New York Times reported. Similarly, Google has stepped into the ecommerce foray by offering a program for Northern California residents for same-day deliveries from select national and local merchants by paying with the mobile Google Wallet. Ecommerce fulfillment will need to adapt to keep pace with the culture of instant gratification. In 2014, more retailers will attempt to offer same-day delivery to a wider range of cities, Multichannel Merchant suggested. 

How to adapt wine shipping capabilities for new ecommerce realities
Many customers don't expect to receive their packages within a few hours when they buy wine online. However, there is greater pressure for quicker shipments, Multichannel Merchant stated. People don't want to wait so long for a product that they forget they ordered it in the first place. Many retailers are responding to this trend by increasing their warehouse space in key cities and regions to enable quicker shipping. 

Despite the increased desire for free or discounted shipping, many retailers are taking a step back from offering cost-free deliveries. Providing no-cost shipments can lead to unforeseen expenses for retailers, so some vendors are raising their free shipping price thresholds to offset their costs. In the past few years, retailers chose to absorb these expenses to stay competitive within their industries, but Multichannel Merchant predicts there will be a gradual shift away from this model. 

One way that wineries can differentiate themselves in online customer experience is by offering real-time package tracking. Consumers are increasingly expressing a preference for greater visibility into inventory and the entire fulfillment process. This may mean updates to your mobile website because many people think to check the status of their shipments while on the go. People don't want to wait around for packages, so offering them tracking information can help put them at ease. 

The New York Times indicated that brands that sell their products directly to consumers may have an advantage over larger retailers. These companies are often able to provide better, more personalized customer service. Wineries can ensure profitability in their online wine sales. Many changes in the ecommerce arena are yet to come, and 2014 is expected to be a year of disruption as retailers pilot faster shipping and give customers more ways to get in touch. 

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