At InternetRetailing we receive research on a diverse range of topics. Three that have stood out cover Sunday deliveries, mobile reaching 50% of online transactions and research into email habits and how consumers are checking email on smartphones but opening fewer than before. Emma Herrod reports.
Two thirds of consumers want their online orders delivered on a Sunday but they expect the convenience to come at a standard price, finds a whitepaper commissioned by Electio. The main influences on consumers’ expectations are the immediacy of social media and the Amazon “I want it now” phenomenon. Retailers are reacting fast, says the paper, with 81% of them already offering, or planning to implement, a Sunday delivery strategy to keep up with demand.
The most popular reason cited for wanting a Sunday delivery is because people are likely to be at home. In terms of the types of products customers are most likely to be expecting, large white goods and high value items lead the way.
The whitepaper also reveals that while retailers can see the value in Sunday delivery to improve the customer experience, boost sales and gain a competitive advantage, they also face significant challenges. Arranging for staff to work weekends, navigating carrier service availability and updating websites to show Sunday options, were found to be some of the top challenges.
Retailers also stated that they are struggling to get customers to pay a premium for the service which costs more to provide.
A number of solutions are highlighted, including urging carriers and retailers to work together to provide the convenience that shoppers demand. Others include: changing operational patterns and staffing structures; pre-sorting on Friday to facilitate Saturday and Sunday delivery in the current system; marketing campaigns to generate the volume necessary to provide Sunday delivery at the cost customers are willing to pay, i.e. for free; considering Sunday delivery as a way to relieve the traditional delivery/operational bottlenecks that occur on Mondays and Tuesdays.
“Delivery in 2016 is at a new place,” says Andrew Hill, Commercial Director at Electio. “Customers are deciding when and how they want to pick up a parcel. They want the option of delivery within one hour slots every day of the week, including Sunday. 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.”
MOBILE REACHES 50% OF ECOMMERCE
Another report, this time from Criteo , reveals that mobile has reached a tipping point as transactions on mobile have passed desktop as more retailers adopt consumer-friendly mobile sites and transaction-driving apps. For the first time, claims the report, all retailers in the UK saw half of their sales from mobile, on average. The leading 25% of mobile retailers’ share of mobile went farther and crossed the 60% mark.
Fashion brands continue to lead the way in mobile commerce and seem to be extending that lead over other sectors, with over half of their sales now occurring on mobile.
Home, a slow performing category in previous Criteo ‘State of Mobile Commerce’ research, showed a strong growth of 53% in its H1 2016 report to move ahead of the Health & Beauty and Sporting Goods sectors.
Significantly, apps remain the most efficient channel for retailers, driving a larger percentage of shoppers down the purchase funnel and converting at 3x the rate of mobile web.
ADDICTED TO EMAIL
Meanwhile, a report from Adobe, has found that office workers are spending over a third of their waking day reading, writing and replying to emails. While we’re spending so much time on email only 21% of branded email offers to personal email accounts are deemed interesting enough to open (and that’s only 15% for those received at work). This is down across both work and personal emails by 10% from 2015, claims Adobe.
The lines between work and personal time continue to blur as European professionals check their email around the clock, with the majority (88%) checking their personal email accounts while at work, and 79% engaging with work email outside of office hours. Some 61% of those surveyed read emails while on holiday, 59% admit to reading their emails when watching TV, and 42% check them whilst in bed.
Respondents also indicated that their use of email is evolving alongside growing smartphone use, with email styles increasingly resembling those of text messages. Over one-third (36%) of European office workers observe a trend toward less formal emails. 32% find that the written quality of emails is decreasing, and 30% think that emails are getting shorter.
Also, as the use of smartphones continues to grow, so more of us are checking emails on such devices. Nearly three quarters (74%) of Europeans are now regularly checking emails using a smartphone. In the UK in particular, smartphones have overtaken desktops as the preferred device upon which to check emails. Workers in France and Germany regularly check their email on smartphones too.
This increase in mobile use puts a spotlight on how marketers optimise email marketing campaigns, with 22% of respondents saying their biggest annoyance is that the layout is not optimised for their smartphone. Having to
scroll beyond one page was an annoyance for 23% of users, and images that didn’t load is considered a further irritation for 18% of respondents.
Nearly half (46%) of respondents cite the frequency of emails from brands as the biggest turn-off, followed by poorly-written messages (29%) and offers based on clearly inaccurate profile data (22%). While emojis are now commonplace in peoples’ own communications – nearly three quarters (73%) use them in personal emails, and one-third (33%) in the workplace – brands should exercise caution, as 72% of office workers find them to be ineffective or only slightly effective in getting them to read an email offer.
As these three reports show, consumers are becoming increasingly reliant on their smartphones, using them for communication, shopping and organisers to life. It’s hardly surprising that the immediacy they bring to all matters – the always on capability – is influencing delivery. It’s only a matter of time until delivery choice will extend to 24/7, 365 days a year. If you can buy it in a convenience store, why not have someone deliver it for you?