Remember how Sunday used to be a day of rest? The introduction of Sunday delivery options by the carriers is changing all that on the delivery side. According to a new report commissioned by Electio, part of the MPD Group, 81% of retailers are already offering, or planning to offer a Sunday delivery strategy, It’s in direct response to consumer demand with two-thirds of consumers demanding their goods arrive on the sabbath.
The report looks at research conducted with 100 retailers and 1,000 UK consumers, showing that the latter are increasingly influenced by the immediacy of social media and the Amazon “I want it now” phenomenon.
Sunday delivery proves popular because shoppers say it’s the one day they are more likely to be home – making deliveries of large white goods and high-value items particularly attractive for Sunday delivery.
And yet retailers are struggling. Arranging for staff to work weekends, navigating carrier service availability and updating websites to show Sunday options are some of the toughest challenges that retailers face.
But whilst the price may get pushed up by such challenges customers are unwilling to pay a premium, with most expecting Sunday services at standard delivery prices, according to the research.
Four top tips for better managing Sunday deliveries
The study suggests four tips for retailers looking to make Sunday delivery more convenient for them, as well as for the customer.
Tip 1 – Change operational patterns and staffing structures
Tip 2 – Pre-sort on Friday to facilitate Saturday and Sunday delivery in the current system
Tip 3 – Implement marketing campaigns to generate the volume necessary to enable Sunday delivery at more customer friendly price levels.
Tip 4 – Consider Sunday delivery as a way to relieve the traditional delivery/operational bottlenecks on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Andrew Hill, commercial director at Electio, said that retailers must wake up to the challenges they face in meeting customer expectations. “We can’t bury our heads in the sand when it comes to Sundays. If retailers don’t address some of these challenges head on and find a solution, then Sunday delivery will become the preserve of an elite minority of retailers,” he said.