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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

E-Tailers Try Out Same-Day Delivery

Some major retail companies are testing same-day delivery of online orders, according to the National Retail Federation’s Stores magazine. Even though consumers haven’t been clamoring for such a service yet, these companies apparently think it’s just a matter of time before they do.

That’s because free delivery is the main thing that induces shoppers to buy more online, even more than lower prices, or so says Baden Consulting Group’s 2012 consumer survey. Free delivery in two to 10 days has become so pervasive that some people won’t shop at sites without it. Before long, they might have the same attitude about same-day delivery.

Same-day service is most likely to be successful in urban areas where companies already have stores, warehouses, and/or suppliers in close proximity to a higher concentration of purchasers. From the consumer perspective, it should be fairly easy to process web orders, pull and pack the merchandise, and deliver the whole shebang to their door within a few hours, if not sooner.

Companies know there’s much more to the logistics than that, but consumer perception may prevail—especially since it’s the coveted millennials age group (18-34) that’s been using same-day delivery the most so far. Some 12.5% of millennials use same-day delivery “very frequently,” the Stores article noted, compared to only 4.2% of all consumers.

Colleges and universities should take notice. Like urban cities, campuses are packed with millennials. If Amazon and Walmart can manage same-day delivery, what’s to keep millennial students from fully expecting the same from the campus bookstore, food service, library, convenience store, tech shop, snack bar, or any other campus enterprise?

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