Retailers, e-tailers eye express delivery to create a differential
Vjmedia Works | January 06, 2015
Look at making deliveries within hours, even minutes
City-based mobile retailer Sangeetha Mobiles recently launched a service promising a'47-minute-delivery' in any part of Bengaluru. While one could wonder anyone would need a mobile phone as urgently as a pizza, Subhash Chandra L, managing director of Sangeetha Mobiles, said customers loved the "concept of speedâ€ and the retail chain had expanded this service to Chennai and Hyderabad as well.
"Speed, of course, cannot be the prime or most important factor to encourage a consumer to make a purchase, but it is definitely a service several buyers have praised us for,â€ Chandra told Business Standard. "Especially people who forget an event. This service is a great help as it can get you your desired product at the last minute.â€
IN A JIFFY
Sangeetha Mobiles recently launched a service promising a'47-minute delivery' to any part of Bengaluru
While several e-commerce portals provide services such as same-day delivery and 24-hours delivery, many are now looking to shorten this waiting period to only a few hours
Reports say Flipkart is also looking at a mechanism where it could deliver goods to customers within three hours of placing an order
The 47-minute timeline has been inspired by the address of Sangeetha Mobile's first store, which was shop number 47. The company also runs an online e-tailing portal, shopno47.com. Several e-commerce portals provide services like same-day and 24-hour delivery and many are now looking to shorten the wait to only a few hours.
"The overall customer journey has to be seamless, this includes product discovery, selection, purchase and fulfillment,â€ said Ashish Chitravanshi, vice-president, operations, at Snapdeal.com. "We have found that customers are looking at best products at best value. It is our endeavour to ensure on-time delivery, we do offer 24-hour delivery and will better this time in the near future.â€
India's e-commerce poster boy Flipkart is also looking at a mechanism to deliver goods to customers within three hours of placing an order.
"It depends on what I have ordered and how urgently I need it,â€ says Taarika Prabhu, a Mumbai-based communications professional. "I might not be tempted to buy clothes by an express delivery, but if it is groceries, I wouldn't mind paying extra to get these right away.â€
Experts believe such endeavours by sellers are in the right direction, as these will help attract buyers at a time when discounts are tapering and new entities are rapidly entering the market.
"Instant gratification is a psychological need for several buyers. It is something you cannot explain, but it needs to be catered to. Buyers want a phone in their pocket as soon as they pay for it, and they want to try the shoes they have bought immediately,â€ said Ankur Bisen, senior vice-president of retail and consumer products at Technopak.
Bisen added with multiple players flooding the market, there was an increased need for e-commerce companies to have services that differentiated them from the others.
Express delivery comes at a premium in the US and Europe but may initially be offered for free in India as e-tailing firms seek consumer mindshare, say experts.