Give Customers More Shipping Options
Capturing the attention of online shoppers requires e-tailers to know consumer trends. Today’s shoppers want personalized attention, they expect choices that fit their needs, they demand quick turnaround from purchase to delivery.
To stay competitive, businesses need to know how to incorporate these expectations into their site and what they offer their customers. One way for them to find out what’s important is by attending the Shoptalk conference.
FedEx Updates caught up with Brian Philips, president and chief executive officer of FedEx Office, who spoke at this year’s conference about the role shipping plays in modern-day shopping.
Shoptalk is a new yearly retail and e-commerce event, where investors, e-tailers, startups, analysts and other experts rub shoulders and discuss upcoming trends.
At this year’s Shoptalk, Philips outlined some surprising recent survey results from online shoppers:
- 20 percent said they would use same-day shipping1
- 75 percent of online shoppers worry about the security of packages left on porches or doorsteps2
- 36 percent want to be able to pick up packages from locations other than their homes — that’s up from 26 percent in 20153
Any retailer can deliver a great experience for their online customers, Philips explained, but they must address their needs: speed, control and convenience.
“The most dramatic change that's occurred [in shipping trends] in the last five years has been the rise of the power of the consumer. That's driven in large part by the fact that we all now have access to instantaneous information.”
— Brian Philips
President and Chief Executive Officer, FedEx Office
Philips highlighted the growing customer demand for same-day delivery. Especially in metro areas, customers are increasingly willing to pay more to get deliveries in their hands as soon as possible. He’s seeing this trend from businesses and consumers, ranging from immediate needs to pleasurable whims:
- Pharmaceutical supplies and medical equipment
- Legal documents
- Tires and auto parts
- Stem-cut flowers and fresh-baked cupcakes
“The recent launch of our new FedEx SameDay® City mobile app allows customers to track same-day deliveries in real time,” Philips says. This is a helpful feature for any customer eagerly awaiting a delivery on a deadline.
For customers with urgent delivery needs
FedEx SameDay® City is now available in 24 markets across the country, with options for 2-hour, 4-hour and end-of-day delivery.
“Consumers are demanding greater control and visibility over the packages than ever before,” noted Philips, who recommended encouraging shoppers to sign up for FedEx Delivery Manager®. “They can go online from their desk or mobile device to schedule deliveries for a specific date or time, or even to another address.”
Customers can also leave delivery instructions — for instance, specifying that drivers leave packages on a more secluded back step or side entrance. “They can suspend deliveries. They can redirect deliveries to other destinations. It gives them the power,” he added.
For customers who want more control of their shipments
FedEx Delivery Manager® helps you personalize your customers’ shopping experience by letting them decide when, where and how they want their packages delivered.
When it comes to picking up and dropping off packages, shoppers now have more choices than ever, Philips announced.
In addition to the 1,800-plus FedEx Office locations and nearly 1,000 FedEx Ship Center® locations, customers can now visit FedEx OnSite locations. These new sites enable online shoppers to retrieve packages and drop off returns at participating locations, such as:
- Grocery stores
- Retail outlets, including a growing number of Walgreens
“FedEx Office can be found in nontraditional settings as well,” he said, for customers looking for an even wider array of options. Through the FedEx® OnCampus program, customers can now access packing and shipping services in these convenient locations:
- More than 130 leading hotels
- Most of the large convention centers in the U.S.
- Dozens of university, hospital and corporate campuses
Providing that flexibility is key to keeping online shoppers happy, Philips explained. “It’s not going to be the same solution every time,” he said. “Whether you're on the road and you want to redirect things to your hotel, or you have a FedEx OnCampus right there at your corporate location, or you want to make it more convenient on your trip home, or during your normal routine errands — there are a lot of choices and those only continue to grow.”
For customers who need more location choices for packing and shipping services:
For more on how to grow your customer base, meet consumer expectations and reach your online store’s full potential, visit the FedEx® Small Business Center.
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1L2 study on omnichannel shipping, February 2017.
2ComScore, June 2015.
3Penn Schoen Berland, “The New Logistics Landscape on Campus,” July 2016.