Not too long ago, same-day services were limited to food delivery and one-hour photos, but the concept of buy now, get now has exploded seemingly overnight. From office supplies to department store goodies, having an order shopped, bought, paid for and even delivered within one day is causing outlets both big and small to evaluate whether same-day services are right for them.
The same-day model has a variety of applications. A growing number of retailers provide product fulfillment in the form of online ordering with same-day store pick up, while same-day delivery of clothing, food and more allows the consumer to never leave the comfort of home. A recent study by Walker Sands found that 51 percent of shoppers have bought online and picked up in store, while additional research shows that 30 percent of consumers have ordered online for same-day delivery at least once in the past 12 months, according to market research Packaged Facts' report American Consumers in 2020. Measurable services also get in on the action — same-day repairs, printing and other tech-related offerings have made the idea of waiting for anything practically obsolete.
Exploring the Appeal
With technology making it so there's an app at the ready to fulfill immediate desires, instant gratification is behind the growing need for same-day services. A sense of urgency — think needing eggs for an already-in-process batch of cookies or a husband forgetting his wife's birthday and needing a last-minute gift delivered — is another reason why same-day offerings are in high demand and proving to be a successful marketplace approach.
While this 24/7 mentality of accessibility is easily achievable for commerce giants, it takes some strategy to apply it to smaller operations. For example, in a business where goods are provided, there must be immediate stock availability — not to mention the storage space to retain that stock and keen predictive measures to know what should be kept readily on hand. Those looking to foray into the world of same-day delivery must also weigh the cost of using traditional shipping methods versus real-time courier services.
The question then becomes whether the same-day model is an intelligent growth strategy. As with most major leaps, the answer is somewhat of a mixed bag. While consumers most certainly have developed an on-demand mentality, they aren’t necessarily keen on the expense that often comes with it. A business, therefore, has to weigh whether it can execute same-day services without passing along a significant cost to the customer or sacrificing quality for the sake of expediency. For example, consumers prize the perk of free shipping, but same-day delivery services can easily run up to $20 — a cost that the customer may not readily embrace.
All signs indicate that the demand for same-day services is here to stay. But the demands of infrastructure, personnel, delivery costs and more may make jumping on board difficult for some. In such cases, strategic partnerships may be one route to fulfillment. Startups the likes of Uber are starting to assist retailers with same-day delivery services, and it turns out that the cost of using these services is on par or even more affordable than two-day delivery. For those looking to expand, outsourcing may be one achievable strategic approach to broadening the scope of business by joining the same-day service movement.
About the Author
Stacey Kole is a principal director at Branded, a personal and small business branding agency. A former magazine editor and published author, she currently contributes to the online editions of several publications. She is the Executive Director of a nonprofit organization, working to build scholarship funds for young women in the state of Arizona.
All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is” and neither the author nor Office Depot, Inc. warrant the accuracy of the information provided, nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.
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