Business View Magazine | Volume 8, Issue 9

11 BUSINESS VIEW MAGAZINE VOLUME 8, ISSUE 9 FAST, FREE, AND SUSTAINABLE How ‘fulfilment’ is driving the ecommerce market A s it stands, fast and free shipping is proving an attractive offering, often outperforming other cost-saving strategies. Understandably, these deals grab the attention of deal-savvy consumers who want their items delivered quickly and without extra charges on top of their original basket cost. In fact, how many of us have paused, hesitated or even abandoned an order for the opposite reason? Well, you’re not alone – 64% of all online consumers expect their orders to be shipped for free and within five working days. What’s more, 68% of us will check a returns policy before making purchase. Present major obstacles here, and retailers will be providing an instant turn off in an ultra-competitive sales sphere. Ultimately, an attractive delivery option can make all the difference in a customer choosing your products over a competitor’s. Unless they have developed long standing brand love, the chances of a customer remaining loyal to an offering which they can get for less and in quicker time elsewhere, are low. This isn’t to undermine the importance of sustainability and environmental responsibility, though. While fast and free shipping is expected, it may not necessarily be the most ethical business model, particularly if it will mean greater emissions for more frequent deliveries, and cost- cutting measures in other areas of the business in order to make up for lost shipping fees. Global reports state that consumers would be more likely to purchase from companies with an established reputation for sustainability too. This suggests it is just as important for online businesses to focus their efforts on acting ethically, as it is for them to fulfil orders efficiently. But with the rise of online shopping, which has been propelled by the pandemic with a 48% increase in online spending coming as a result of lockdown restrictions, businesses may be finding OPENING L INES