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Reliable, Cheap and Now: The Holy Trinity of Same-Day Shipping

For many people, when they were young, counting down the days until they could unwrap the boxes on Christmas Day was a time of excitement.

Today, waiting 7 to 14 business days to do the same to the new jacket, USB drive or frying pan you got online feels much less magical – for you and your customers.

It may even be frustrating enough to drive them to head down to the local Target instead.

The Internet has made customers used to the idea of getting mail, films, books and TV shows right now. What if yours could do that with their jeans?

In 2012, Amazon decided to answer that question for themselves, offering same-day shipping for an extra fee. In 2015, it made instant gratification even cheaper by make the service free for Prime members shipping order over $35 to 18 metropolitan areas. With Google Express, even traditional brick-and-mortar businesses like Costco, Walgreens, and Toys R Us are on board.

In time, any e-retailer without the fulfillment capabilities to meet the needs of today’s busy customers will find themselves losing out to the ones who do. In 2014’s holiday season, Amazon customers ordered 10 times more via same-day delivery than a year ago.

Or will you be among businesses like Shutl: the brainchild behind same-hour shipping.

Because someday, even same-day will not be fast enough. Tomorrow’s customers will want their orders to get there faster than the pizza man, even if ordering after work and business hours.

And they want it cheap: a survey showed 88% of customers will not pay more than $10 for same-day shipping.

For small e-retailers without the same network of trucks and warehouses as Amazon, the holy trinity of reliable, cheap and timely same-day delivery may be out of reach on their own. For these smaller players, it will only make sense to offer costly same-day delivery on a few lightweight, easy-to-transport, high-margin products.

The only way to reach that trinity will likely be to leverage on scale economies, through the right fulfillment partner. That will put them on the same playing field as the big guys.

You may have the goods. But can you deliver on the demands of tomorrow’s customer?

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