I’m constantly frustrated by sellers who can’t ship products within a reasonable timescale. Recently an Amazon purchase took 14 days to arrive which by anyone’s standards is pretty abysmal. Often sellers from other venues are just as bad.
eBay are behind the times too, they still promote “Fast and Free” as a supposed superb shipping experience worth highlighting in search results. The reality is that it’s a shockingly slow proposition with delivery taking up to three working days. In 2016 there is simply no way that a three working day delivery can be described as fast, shoppers demand a better service.
Increased Consumer Expectations
Deloitte in their 2016 Holiday Survey have now confirmed that consumer expectations are rising and even in comparison with 2015, shoppers in 2016 are demanding higher standards. Just 42% of consumers now consider a 3 to 4 day delivery to be fast, down a full 21 points from the 63% who considered 3 to 4 days to be fast a year ago. US consumers now only count a same day, next day or two day delivery to be fast.
The Driver – Amazon Prime
This increase in expectations has largely been driven by Amazon Prime. In the US, Amazon Prime’s proposition is a two day delivery which is now what consumers class as the minimum standard for fast delivery.
This should set even more alarm bells ringing in the UK where Amazon promise a next day delivery. Not only is Amazon Prime UK a next day delivery proposition, but Amazon are increasingly ignoring weekends and deliver next day on Saturday or even next day on Sunday.
The reality is that consumers are simply accustomed to faster deliveries and if you can’t offer them you’ll either lose out on sale or face increasingly irate customers. That could exhibit itself at best with customer phone calls or emails demanding to know where their purchase is, or at worst poor feedback impacting your seller metrics.
eBay’s Unforgivable Sin
eBay’s shipping team need to take notice of Deloitte’s research. eBay.com’s version of Fast and Free allows anything up to four working days for delivery to take place, even worse than eBay UK’s three working days. More importantly, eBay need to recognise that buyers don’t care about Fast and Free but they do care that it’s impossible to search eBay for a fast delivery when they need something in a hurry.
eBay’s Fast and Free is wrong on both counts. It’s not fast and customers don’t always care that it’s free – fresh research found that 88% of UK consumers are prepared to pay for their delivery when they want a truly fast service.
If consumers can’t find products with fast shipping on eBay, is it any wonder that so many shoppers sign up to Amazon who with Prime make it easy to find products which will be delivered tomorrow?