A wave of innovation is unlocking the intriguing potential of home delivery.
In Sweden, a consortium of three companies is piloting a world-first service allowing customers to order groceries online and have them delivered directly to their fridge. Customers must have a digital lock on their front door that can be opened by the delivery driver using a smartphone. Deliveries can be made when the family is away from the home, so the service removes all physical effort linked to grocery shopping.
The problems customers experience with home delivery are holding back online retail. The current model of doorstep delivery can be frustrating for customers and retailers alike. We all know the challenges and frustrations of arranging redelivery when a customer is not at home the first time. A recent survey in the UK showed about half of online shopping customers had experienced problems with home delivery; most were related to the timing of the delivery.
New approaches attempt to address the challenge. These range from making it simpler to arrange a redelivery to positioning lockers at busy transport hubs. These help, but they do not always address the cause of the problem. What many customers want is right-first-time home delivery, but they settle for another option when that isn’t available, or when something goes wrong.
I really like the concept of in-fridge delivery because it addresses directly the core need most customers have: I want my products sent directly to my house.
Smart retailers are looking for ways to make home delivery simpler. The first step is to realise that near enough may no longer be good enough; new solutions are on their way and every online retailer needs to be aware of them.
It’s a matter of looking at the most common problems your customers face and working out what they really want.