October 27, 2023

Blog/ How important is next day delivery to your customer?

Bex Young

How important is next day delivery to your customer? And – can it be sustainable?

Although Drapers’ recent report tells us that Gen Z and millennial consumers are heading back into physical stores this peak retail reason, e-commerce remains a top shopping channel for consumers across the board. The continued cost of living crisis and increased time poorness in modern day living continue to boost demand for low-friction, cheap online shopping. 

A recent consumer survey by ParcelHero found that more than half of Brits (62%) expect next-day delivery options, a 44% rise from 2020. This significant change in shoppers’ attitudes regarding delivery over the past few years has shown that next-day delivery really is essential to your customer. 

Factors that have increased demand for next-day delivery options

Add working from home to the mix, and figures are boosted still, as people opt to shop digitally for items they might’ve otherwise picked up on their way home from the office. For some consumers needing goods in certain sectors, next day delivery is more of a necessity than a luxury. For those who live in rural areas and can’t easily pop into a pharmacy or supermarket, receiving prescriptions, food and medication by next day shipping allows for a stress-free, predictable shopping experience.

Another benefit of next-day delivery is its predictability – both in terms of knowing the exact day the parcel will arrive instantly upon purchase, and through the nature of the quick and frequent notifications often sent with this delivery option. This means customers know exactly when to expect their package and allows them to plan their day accordingly. 

All of these considerations result in greater customer satisfaction and in turn, better bottom lines for retailers.

Fashion retailers continue to reward shoppers with unlimited delivery deals

Naturally, with a rise in online consumption comes a rise in what consumers actually expect from their home deliveries. Next-day delivery is no longer a ‘nice to have’, but a non-negotiable for businesses that want to retain loyal customers and boost online sales; particularly as we approach the frantic Christmas period which’ll see multiple retailers vying for consumers’ attention. But that’s not quite enough. Consumers want to see free next day options, or at least want to have delivery deals available to them.

Fashion retailers, like ASOS and Next, were some of the first to recognise the shift to next-day as the new normal. They took this demand and created friction-free shopping opportunities with their ‘Unlimited Next Day Delivery Service’ and ‘Premium Delivery Service’ options, allowing shoppers to forget about delivery costs and focus on adding multiple items to their basket.

But does this mean that consumers have forgotten about the sustainable aspect of their deliveries?

This has resulted in a situation where many consumers forget about other aspects of their delivery altogether, such as the method of delivery (what kind of vehicle it is), the company that’s delivering (this is often hidden by retailers with no choice given to the consumer themselves) and crucially, the carbon footprint attached to it. 

Consumers may only actually think about their delivery if a) they think they might not be in when it’s due or b) they have a bad experience with it, i.e. their parcel is undelivered, left behind a bin, stolen… the usual list of things one might see on an angry Twitter complaint.

If I don’t see it or hear about it, is the carbon impact really there?

Next-day delivery with traditional delivery methods, such as diesel vans, has been criticised for having a high environmental impact. Research has shown that these ‘speedier’ delivery methods typically result in much higher CO2 emissions. Customers concerned about their environmental impact may choose to forego these options in favour of more environmentally friendly options that extend delivery time to 7 days – but most people are after the quickest delivery option possible and as a retailer, you’ll want to satisfy the majority.

So, what can be done?

Convenience v environment: a battle that doesn’t need to be fought

The good news is that your customer does not need to choose between convenience and the environment.

Electric cargo bike deliveries allow for fast, cost-effective and – most importantly – zero-emission parcel dropoffs. By utilising a system that plants microhubs on the edge of major cities, cargo bike couriers avoid traffic through use of bike lanes, low emission zones and back routes. Huge time benefits can be gained and money can quickly be saved.

Equally, cargo bikes can stop off right outside customers’ doorways, allowing for quick and friendly parcel handovers. Then – they can quickly re-route back to the microhub for the next round, all in the time that it would’ve taken a diesel van to inch it’s way through urban traffic and scramble to park on a busy, restricted road.

In short – cargo bike deliveries just really make sense for next day deliveries. Read more about how our ‘mesh city model’ works here.

Transparency and customer autonomy: making green deliveries your USP

A fantastic benefit of Zedify’s cargo bike deliveries is the opportunity to really make your business deliveries your USP. This can be done through our cobranding opportunities and our amazing, science-backed carbon savings.

It can be hard for consumers to distinguish between retailers offering ‘green’ options. Few are truly green. Cargo bikes release 96% lower carbon emissions compared to even electric vans – the logistics industry’s typical ‘eco’ option.

So, if you utilise a delivery company like Zedify, you can rest assured that you have something to really show off about when it comes to the all-important checkout.

Our cargo bikes also provide an ideal surface for advertising opportunities. Gone are the days of getting parcels delivered in a big white van or a vehicle with generic delivery branding on it. Why not make the most of using such an eye-catching service by adding your brand onto it too? If you’re interested in finding out more about this, take a look at our collaboration with vegan food kit company Grubby.

It’s time to shout about quick delivery options; not keep them hidden, or take them for granted.


Intrigued?

Read more about our work with businesses all across the UK here.