Rounding Off The Retail Experience With Quick Delivery [Future of Retail]

Delivery services that merge the convenience of online retail with the instant gratification of bricks and mortar shopping.

They say that patience is a virtue, but when it comes to online retail, waiting for a business day or five for a product to come is a significant bump in the road to shopper gratification. How can sluggish delivery be justified in an always-on retail space? A new crop of “buy it now, get it sooner” services recognize the premium that is placed on fast delivery and focuses their efforts on the tail-end of the purchase experience.

In our fourth Future of Retail report, PSFK Labs has identified the trend of On-Demand Delivery, where retailers are developing rapid fulfillment services that allow customers to shop and purchase from their entire available inventory and receive the product in as little as one hour. These hybrid retail services combine the convenience of online and mobile shopping with the immediate gratification of bricks and mortar stores, enabling shoppers to buy on their own terms. Read below to see how retailers and brand are fulfilling this need.

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The on-demand personal assistant service WunWun has created a mobile application that gives users access to a delivery service for products and special deliveries in under an hour. After downloading the $1 iOS mobile application, shoppers can dictate a request to a dedicated WunWun associate. The application then connects shoppers with an associate through iMessage to work out the details and ensure the shopper gets the right products delivered. If the request is for a product available at a store, it is a free delivery, otherwise special items or any items from a restaurant levies a $20 fee. The shopper’s credit card is stored in the application and charged through the app for any products purchased, as well as any delivery fees incurred. By utilizing the human element in deliver, WunWun customers can get personalized services in addition to the free delivery of products e.g. picking up a cake, picking up a thank you card and writing a note on the card before delivering it.

Walmart Stores Flickr Creative Commons

Mass retailer Walmart has been testing delivery options for online customers to receive products in under 24 hours. This service would extrapolate on Walmart’s already existing in-store pickup option by co-opting customers already in a store to deliver products to customers who have completed orders online. In select urban test markets, customers are being offered discounts for delivering orders to other people in the area, or on their route home. The retailer has been considering the possibility of rolling it out to its network of over 4,000 stores.

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This past summer, women’s fashion and accessory retailer Kate Spade opened four 24/7 digital window shops where passersby could view and order Kate Spade Saturday products for same-day delivery. Between June 8th and July 7th 2013, a shopper could approach the window containing 30 items, consider the options, and find them by swiping through on the accompanying interactive screen. After making a selection, the shopper entered a phone number and received a text message to schedule free delivery within the hour.

The On-Demand Delivery trend is part of a bigger theme called Networked Purchase Path. At key points along the shopping journey, a forward thinking retailer or brand can effectively employ data, connected technologies and human service to meet the shopper where they are and anticipate where they will go next, created seamless experiences and better interactions across channels.

In the fourth edition of the Future of Retail Report, PSFK Labs brings together two interconnected themes and eleven key trends that provide a foundation for the modern shopping experience. The findings are brought to life with best-in-class examples, actionable strategies and leading questions to inspire leading retailers and brands. Join us at our San Francisco conference on Nov. 21st to hear talks from retail innovators that will bring the report’s key themes to life.

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