04 Dec 2015
Last week, we discussed the impact that Amazon’s new Prime Now service is having on the high street. Now we’re interested to see the affect it’s having on online retailers.
The gloves are off
Well for one, Argos has stepped up its game. By leveraging its network of stores around the country, its Fast Track service offers same day delivery, 7 days a week. They guarantee that if you buy before 6pm, you will receive your delivery by 10pm, with a choice of four delivery slots. How much will it cost you…£3.95, without the need for a subscription. With 20,000 products eligible for this delivery method and 95% coverage of UK postcodes, which is more than Amazon, you have to doff your hat to them!
Bryan Roberts, Kantar Retail said: "In terms of customers being able to order online as late as 6pm and receive products on their doorstep that evening, Argos is showing its rivals a clean pair of heels with this new speedy nationwide service."
Then there’s Shutl. They partner with local retailers and have just recently announced that River Island are the first retailer in the UK to sign up for their ‘Click and Don’t Collect’ service. This service offers shoppers who have opted for Click-and-Collect the option to change to Shutl’s service and receive their order in 90 mins, paying £4.95 for the privilege. In some words, this is effectively an expansion of the popular Click-and-Collect services offered by many multi-channel retailers.
However, not all retailers are taking the fight to Amazon with John Lewis even going to the extent of questioning the free Click-and-Collect model. Believing it to be unsustainable, its charging £2 for its Click-and-Collect service on orders less than £30. It may well be an admiral decision, but could this spark off another evolution in online shopping? It would make sense as research suggests that retailers are losing sales by refunds and constant issues with stock levels through Click-and-Collect.
In hindsight, our own research highlights that online shoppers don’t necessarily want their items delivered so speedily with only 30% opting to pay extra for services such as next day delivery. Then there is the question of sustainability. Our guess is that Amazon is subsidising the cost of these deliveries but for how long can this carry on? Well, Amazon really doesn’t do conventional so our guess is that faster deliveries are here to stay for the time being. Likewise, you’ll probably see a drone hovering above your house in the future, which will move the goalposts yet again.
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