Business tips

Speed versus convenience: what is same-day delivery worth for online retailers?

Same-day delivery services are making waves in the US. We quiz Ben Franzi, General Manager Global eCommerce Platform Sales at Australia Post and StarTrack, to find out how the rise of these e-commerce delivery offerings are impacting customers’ expectations here in Australia.

AmazonFresh and Google Express are trying to take e-commerce to the next level in key US cities with same-day delivery offerings. AmazonFresh delivers a range of everyday products, including fresh produce and gourmet meals from local shops and restaurants, to consumers’ doors. Google Express offers its members same-day or overnight delivery from local stores and retailers by using its Google Wallet payment system and courier delivery.

With these two giants of the tech world investing in same-day delivery, does it mean that consumers all over the world, including here in Australia, will start expecting their online purchases to be delivered within a few hours of their orders being placed? We posed this question – and others – to Ben Franzi, General Manager Global eCommerce Platform Sales at Australia Post and StarTrack.

Same-day delivery services are on the rise in North America. Is there a demand for them in Australia?

Recent consumer surveys indicate that it is important to offer a choice of delivery days and times, as well as convenient collection locations like lockers. Same-day delivery is certainly a component of that. However, research shows that lower prices are still more important than same-day delivery and most [Australian] consumers still choose cheaper shipping options over a same-day service.

What are the challenges around same-day delivery in a country like Australia?

As a large country, there are naturally some limitations to same-day delivery in Australia, depending on where customers are located. Same-day services require either local storage of stock or air express freight services and courier-style delivery. These are generally more expensive delivery options.

What is the average delivery time in Australia?

Generally speaking, it is one to three days, as most lodgements are in the capital cities on the eastern seaboard and most deliveries are to people in those cities. Delivery from the east coast to Perth is more typically five to six days.

How long are Australians willing to wait for an online shopping delivery?

Australians are generally happy for domestic delivery to take three to five days. For international deliveries, they expect their orders to arrive in seven to 14 days.

What delivery options does Australia Post offer?

Our delivery options include same-day, next day and regular:

Same-day services
Our same day courier services are perfect for when our customers need to send something across town or interstate on the same day. It might be an urgent parcel, a time-critical medical delivery, a large consignment or delivery of a secure document. For our business customers, we offer Next Flight (for interstate) and StarTrack Courier (for CBD/metro). People can also buy Courier Post Satchels from their local post office, which offers same-day delivery by courier within metro areas or by phone and credit card booking using StarTrack Courier.

Next-day services
StarTrack Premium, eParcel Express and Express Post provide next-day delivery across Australia for consumers and business customers, with superior service and an extensive range of tailored features. For our business customers seeking guaranteed delivery by close of business the next day, StarTrack Premium is the product of choice. For high volume online retailers (that send more than 1,000 parcels per year), eParcel Post satchels from their local post office for guaranteed next day delivery to major metro and regional areas within the Express Post network.

For less urgent deliveries
StarTrack Express, eParcel Regular and Parcel Post are for less urgent freight and parcel deliveries. These are regular off-peak services with economical prices. StarTrack Express delivers on reliability and accuracy with a money back guarantee and is largely used by our business-to-business (B2B) customers. eParcel is the online delivery solution for businesses seeking standard deliveries to consumers (B2C). Consumers can buy Parcel Post satchels from their local post office for standard (two+ days) delivery within Australia.

Prices vary for each option, depending on parcel weight, size and destination. More detailed pricing information is available online.

What is the future of delivery in Australia?

As more people move to shopping online, Australia Post is working towards providing more flexible and convenient delivery options. We’re gearing up our services with extended post office opening hours – selected post offices across Victoria are now operating on Saturday and we’ve started weekend parcel deliveries. Earlier this year, we introduced our new Express Post Saturday delivery service, which gives customers the option of having Express Post parcels delivered to their homes on Saturday between 9am and 1pm within a defined same-state network. The new MyPost Deliveries service is perfect for people who aren’t home during the day, as they can now get their parcel shipped directly to a 24/7 parcel locker or a post office close to their work or home. Our recently expanded and upgraded Sydney and Melbourne parcel facilities are designed to create a world-class parcels and logistics network.

What are the top three things e-commerce retailers need to know about deliveries?

1. Know delivery cut-off dates – especially for gift-related purchase times like Valentine’s Day, Easter and Christmas. Knowing parcel delivery cut-offs is critical to ensure a positive customer experience – no-one wants a present they purchased online to be delivered after the event.

2. Understand your customers – not all online shoppers have the same delivery needs. Young fashion-conscious shoppers may be more likely to value delivery speed, as they may wish to wear something the next weekend that they’ve just purchased. For those buying more expensive, high-value items online, delivery safety and the ability to track and trace are likely to be more important than delivery speed.

3. Consumers expect delivery flexibility and choice – recent research confirms that online shoppers expect to have a wide range of delivery options. E-commerce retailers need to understand this and make sure they have suitable delivery options available, otherwise they run the risk of losing customers at the checkout. It’s also important to ensure the delivery options are transparent with no hidden costs to ensure there are no surprises for customers at the checkout.

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