While many consumers will kick off their holiday shopping this weekend, the increasingly fast delivery speeds provided by most retailers during the holiday period should mean there’s still plenty of time for those who are still working on their lists. StellaService fulfillment data shows that e-tailers are increasingly delivering orders more quickly, particularly as the winter holidays draw nearer. Within the Stella Ecommerce Index, the five fastest shippers in 2015 were: Best Buy, Apple, Lululemon, Staples and Office Depot.
Delivery speed can make or break a customer’s experience with online retailers, especially during this time of year. One way retailers can ensure quick delivery is by automatically upgrading shipping to a more expedited method.
Nike successfully implemented shipping upgrades in early 2015. By upgrading orders to the West Coast from UPS ground to UPS 3-day Select, the retailer reduced their transit speed to the area by 60%. Nike now ranks best-in-class within its competitive set for delivery speed to that region.
While many retailers reserve upgraded shipping for customers who pay a premium fee, top performers will often absorb the cost in the interest of delighting customers. Four of the top ten fastest shippers upgrade to an expedited method for more than 10% of their orders. Those companies include:
- Zappos (3.0 days, 30% expedited)
- Under Armour (3.0, 27%)
- Barnes & Noble (3.3, 20%)
- Apple (2.3, 16%)
Another effective option for quick delivery is to ship items from locations nearer to the end recipient. Lululemon took this approach earlier this year by opening a new distribution center which effectively cut delivery speed by 57% to the region served. Other leading retailers like BestBuy, Sears, and Gap frequently ship from stores to shorten transit times.