The Average Online Purchase Delivery Now Takes 2-3 Days, Thanks to Amazon. Small Businesses Are Finding Ways to Keep Up.

Staff Report

Monday, September 9th, 2019

When an online shopper clicks "Purchase" on an Amazon order, they often don't think about the large reaction they set off with their order – and all the technology and manpower required to get an item from a warehouse to their doorstep within two days or less.

In 2012, online shoppers received packages within 5.5 days. In 2019, Clutch found that online shoppers typically receive packages within 2-3 days, and late package deliveries cause some shoppers to abandon companies.

Small businesses don't typically have the same resources as e-commerce giants such as Amazon. A new report examines how those small businesses keep up with online shoppers' desire for fast shipping.

Clutch, the leading B2B ratings and reviews platform, surveyed 528 online shoppers to understand their delivery expectations. It then spoke with small business owners and logistics experts to highlight strategies small businesses have adopted to meet customers' shipping demands.

Late Package Deliveries Cause Some Online Shoppers to Abandon Companies

Nearly half of online shoppers (48%) say they are unlikely to purchase from a company again if it sends a package late.

It can be tempting for a small business to offer quick shipping to gain more sales. However, if the retailer doesn't consistently deliver within the promised time, the backlash from customers can be more costly than the money earned from extra sales.

It's more sustainable long-term for a small business to be upfront about how long delivery actually takes.

Joel Poznansky, owner of Wicked Uncle, an online gift retailer, chose not to offer overnight delivery.

"With gifts, including birthday gifts, offering overnight option was too painful," Poznansky said. "Although it costs us some lost sales, we have to live with it to ensure goodwill continues."

Small Businesses Adjust Available Products to Ship Quickly

The largest percentage of online shoppers (48%) say they typically receive packages within 2-3 days.

Experts agreed that Amazon's push for 1- and 2-day shipping reset shoppers' expectations.

"Amazon is setting the standards [of shipping]," said Shariq Mansoor, chief technology officer at Aera. "When consumers are ordering something now … if it's telling them it's going to take 6-8 days, they're trying to figure out if they can get it on Amazon."

Some small businesses are adjusting the products they sell to make faster delivery possible on a small scale.

Kara Buntin, owner of A Cake To Remember, reduced the number of items she produces, focusing instead on items that are ready-to-ship.

"I make more things ahead [of time] and am able to get them in the mail the day after they're ordered, if not the same day," Buntin said.

Clutch's survey included 528 U.S. respondents who ordered an item online within the past six months.

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