People are always saying, “Do something different,” particularly when it comes to growing your business and being memorable to consumers. We’re constantly told to strive for the top 1%. Well, today, I’m here to tell you that is exactly what you don’t want. This blog is about ensuring you are doing what everyone else is doing because, within three years, 99% of retailers will offer same-day delivery. Even thirty-minute delivery is a mid-term goal for many retailers, such as HYPE Founder Bav Samani. You can read more about his plans to create a new meaning for the phrase “fast fashion” at the end of this article.
You don’t want to be remembered as one of the small few businesses that can’t offer same-day delivery in 2025! But you also want to have expanded into some new overseas markets within the same timeframe! At this point, these may seem like two completely contradictory goals, as you’d already accepted that expanding overseas would result in a longer, more expensive and more complicated delivery process. But by focusing on putting the suitable systems in place now, you’ll be ready to offer same-day delivery in multiple markets within three years!
Find a Way to Cover Delivery Costs for Your Customers
Delivery costs are rising, and consumers want you to ship this cost. 68% of shoppers state that they might not purchase if the brand doesn’t offer free shipping, so you need to find a way to plaster “FREE SHIPPING” all over your website, Google Ads and social media. In the next twelve months, your goal should be to streamline your delivery and refund processes within the UK (or your home market) to attract new customers and create loyalty amongst current ones.
Within your home market, there are a couple of simple ways that you can start to offer consumers free shipping without chipping away at your profits. The easiest way is to wrap shipping costs into your product prices, so the fees are always completely offset for the customer. Alternatively, offering free shipping on a minimum purchase can effectively drive more revenue as 27% of shoppers make unplanned purchases just to meet free shipping conditions.
When it’s time to consider international shipping, it can be much more costly to offset shipping costs by simply including them in your product price. This is why you should consider duplicating the same ‘local process’ in each new market by distributing your inventory (holding stock in a new warehouse) or incorporating the use of a 3PL. Doing so can significantly reduce transit time, as the stock will be held closer to the customer and won’t be held up in customs. Perhaps more importantly, distributing stock across multiple locations reduces shipping costs by around 25%.
Provide Visibility and Options to Your Consumers
Your customers aren’t just expecting the option of same-day delivery; they also want control and visibility over the complete delivery and returns process. 77% of consumers cite convenience as their main reason to shop online, so give it to them!
This seems easy in theory, but information on the exact status of an item throughout the process may not even be in your hands, let alone the customer. During the product’s journey from the warehouse to the front door, it will go through a series of ‘blind spots,’ and this isn’t only once it’s been handed over to a carrier partner. 83% of consumers expect regular communication about their purchase throughout the delivery process, so you need a system that can give you real-time information for each SKU and individual item movements.
Enter from stage right: NetSuite. As an item is scanned within NetSuite’s Warehouse Management System, the application immediately updates the related transaction and associated data across the platform. This provides inventory and transaction transparency across your entire organisation and immediately on your desk. By integrating delivery and/or returns portals into your NetSuite, you can automate status updates so that your customer is receiving the same information at the same time.
Nurture Your Other Relationships Too
We need our customers and pour a lot of time, effort and money into keeping them satisfied with our relationship. Interestingly, we typically don’t invest as many resources into our vendors and partners, who will be key in scaling your business over the next three years.
Almost 50% of SMEs have been dropped by at least one vendor for being too small, but you’ve got to start somewhere, right? You probably know this problem too well if you rely on a wholesaler for your product or raw materials. When you find the right vendor, keep the relationship warm as you would with a customer or a partner and lean on them if the price is right rather than shopping around too much in the beginning – it will go a long way when things get sticky, or they can’t provide for everyone.
As you grow, having various vendors becomes increasingly essential, particularly when selling into markets on opposite sides of the world. Price per unit will vary, delivery fees may fluctuate, and sometimes they simply will not be able to fulfil your order. Within the next few years, you could find yourself in a position where you’re dropping vendors rather than the other way around.
When the time is right, and you’re jumping into a new market, don’t go at it alone! Finding a local partner who understands the new market and how to navigate it successfully minimises the costs and risks of international expansion. The Department for International Trade can offer assistance and services to UK businesses looking for international partners although if you’re ready to expand overseas, chances are you already have someone that can introduce you. All you’ve got to do is ask!
What Our Team Learnt from Bav Samani
In May, Excellent Zephyr attended IRX in Birmingham! They attended several exciting events, one of which was a panel discussion featuring Bav Samani about “Decoding Gen Z – Today’s most influential generation of shoppers.” Bav, founder of HYPE, spoke of plans to trial a system holding fashion apparel in restaurants and deliver orders within 30 minutes in a Glovo-style delivery service over the peak period.
The panel discussed the need to be innovative in response to increasing pressure from Gen Z to make shopping more accessible and enjoyable. Paid search ads, including “same day”, are on the rise, increasing conversion online by 2x for apparel retailers, so maybe Bav is on to something! Time will tell, and we are certainly keen to see how it works.
DO YOU WANT HELP EXPANDING YOUR ECOMMERCE OPERATIONS OVERSEAS? BOOK A CHAT WITH ONE OF OUR RETAIL EXPERTS TODAY!