Kodak, Blockbuster, Myspace, Borders, Xerox.  What do these familiar names all have in common?

They were leading industry players that failed to embrace and adapt to the changes that a fast-paced, technologically advancing global economy demanded.  “Innovate or die” has become not only an anthem for forward-thinking businesses across the globe, but a warning that highlights the importance of keeping customers’ evolving expectations and needs at the forefront of planning initiatives.

But where should businesses start?

With so many touchpoints and channels available to shoppers these days, what are the specific innovations that will be most useful to the shopping experience and most likely to increase spending? We decided to answer that question by asking shoppers themselves in our latest retail trends study.

When asked what percentage of future investment businesses should put towards innovations in various categories over the next 1-3 years, 33% of respondents in our study* indicated that delivery innovations were most important to them. Both those customers who prefer shopping in-store and those who prefer to shop “online”, via computer or mobile device, cited delivery innovations as being the most worthwhile investment for businesses moving forward.

Online shoppers as a group find transporting purchases home “somewhat difficult” or “very difficult”, with almost a third stating as such, further highlighting the need for advancements in delivery as growing numbers of customers, particularly millennials, turn to digital means for completing their purchases.

Top 3 Delivery Innovations

Here are the top 3 delivery innovations that shoppers felt would be “very” or “extremely” useful for their shopping experience:

  1. Same day delivery (76%)
  2. Real-time product tracking (67%)
  3. Select a specific delivery date and time when ordering, with the ability to modify after the order is placed (65%)

Shoppers who indicated that the aforementioned innovations would be useful were then asked to anticipate how much their shopping would change as the result of a store implementing changes successfully in the next year.

The innovations that would most increase shopping frequency have been listed below along with the proportion of shoppers who mention they would shop “a little” or “much more” if they were implemented:

  1. Same day delivery (61%)
  2. Order online, schedule place to meet courier (delivery to car) (60%)
  3. Select a specific delivery date and time when ordering, with the ability to modify after the order is placed (54%)
  4. Purchase online, pick up in set neighborhood location (Amazon Box, convenience store, etc.) (54%)

Looking at these results, it is clear that customers want instant gratification and more control when it comes to the delivery experience. Across the board, same day delivery is the most popular potential innovation that would have the most impact on the overall customer experience and drive an increase in shopping.

The people have spoken, and now it is up to businesses to decide how to develop their delivery options to stay competitive in a quickly changing marketplace and drive more business.

For a full read of our newest white paper “Shopping Channel Innovations and Their Impact on CX”, click here to download your free copy.

Invitation-only Private Event

On September 21st, we are hosting an invitation-only private event in NYC with 40 seats for CX retail leaders. Request your invitation by email at cxteam@maruedr.com to:

1. Hear from renowned retail speaker Jack Mitchell on his one-of-a-kind philosophy on customer service and the importance of customer experience for both internal and external customers
2. Discover the latest retail insights that will impact your customers’ experience.
3. Learn how retail is further embracing technology and moving beyond traditional channels and measurement.
4. Discuss how to strengthen the dialog between merchandising, digital, store operations, and marketing.

*A nationally representative sample of shoppers was interviewed between May 1 and May 8 of 2017 to gain insights on their preferred shopping channels, how they differ by category and what future innovations in those channels may have the most positive impact on their customer experience.