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Fulfillment Emerges as a Competitive Differentiator

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Today’s retail and e-commerce order fulfillment has to be oriented toward free, fast, sustainable, and branded shipping. 64% of consumers worldwide prefer their orders be shipped for free. 67% of US consumers expect fast delivery while 72% of global consumers want brands to use sustainable packaging. With the rising cost of fulfilling orders, brands must ensure that this fulfillment is well-planned and sourced closer to the consumer, and has a touch of automation for speed and accuracy.

In the US, the UK, China, Germany, France, and Japan, free shipping has been proven to be a significant factor when it comes to consumers’ purchasing decisions—particularly whether they complete the purchase from a brand or not. To address consumer demand without hurting their profit, brands are now making use of free-shipping thresholds. 65% of consumers check free-shipping thresholds before adding items to their carts. Additionally, 39% of US shoppers expect free, two-day shipping. The same-day shipping market in the US is forecasted to exceed $9.6 billion in 2022.

Today’s shopper wants shipping to not only be fast and free, but also environmentally conscious. Consumers are more likely to buy a product that is packaged sustainably. There is an increasing focus on zero-waste packaging, where all the materials used to package a product can be reused or recycled. Minimalist packaging, reduced package sizes, and redesigned shipping cases are also high priorities.

This global trend is strongest in developing and rapidly developing markets, led by China, where 67% of respondents say they would be more likely to purchase products or services from a company with a good reputation for environmental responsibility

Diana Williams

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