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05 Feb 2024

How Same-Day Delivery is Disrupting Traditional Ecommerce

There’s no getting away from it. Online shoppers in 2024 are flocking to ecommerce outlets that offer speedier, exceptional, personalized shopping experiences and abandoning those that don’t.

Same-day delivery is now expected—and most consumers are prepared to pay extra to receive their orders within hours of placing them.

The demand for same-day delivery has become a game-changer for the ecommerce industry.

The shift is not a flash-in-the-pan trend but a transformative force reshaping the way businesses operate and what consumers expect from online shopping.

In this article, we will look at ecommerce logistics, the profound impact of same-day delivery on ecommerce, and how enterprises can meet customers’ need for immediacy.

The Factors Driving the Same-day Delivery Trend

The following are the main factors driving the same-day delivery transformative trend:

The Instant Gratification Generations

Waiting days for a package to arrive is no longer acceptable for many consumers, especially the Gen Zs and Gen Alphas.

In this fast-paced world, customers expect the same immediacy in their online shopping experience as they do in physical stores—and same-day delivery meets this need for immediacy.

Consider the results of a January 2024 survey by the US-based Invesp consulting firm:

· Proportion of shoppers wanting same-day shipping: 80%

· Proportion of online consumers aged between 18 and 34 who expect same-day shipping: 56%

· Proportion of shoppers who would like packages delivered within 1-3 hours of order placement: 61%

· Proportion of consumers who say they would shop online if there was a same-day delivery option: 49%

· Proportion of online shoppers who say they are ready to pay more for same-day delivery: 61% 

· Proportion of online shoppers who would abandon a cart if there was no same-day delivery option: 25%.

By providing a near-instantaneous delivery option, your business can cater to the need for instant gratification while elevating customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Competitive Advantage

Same-day delivery is not just a convenience for customers–it's a competitive advantage for your enterprise.

According to a McKinsey report, same-day delivery accounts for less than 5% of the courier,

express, and parcel (CEP) market internationally, the Middle East included.

The figure drops to as low as 1% in France and Germany, while in the US, Japan, and Britain the figure rises to 2-3%. China leads the way with 4% of CEP concerns offering same-day delivery.

By providing same-day delivery, therefore, you can set your business apart in a crowded ecommerce market.

It can also afford you ground-floor access to a rapidly expanding industry. Research by 360 Market Updates reveals that the global same-day delivery market size was valued at $6446.49 million (USD) in 2022 and will reach $13,262.52 million by 2028, expanding by a CAGR of 12.78%. 

The competitive edge of a same-day delivery service can, therefore, increase revenues, attract new customers, retain existing ones, and position your company as an industry leader.

Enhanced Customer Experience

Let’s relate the above to the customers’ experience of ecommerce.

When ordering an item online, if a shopper chances upon a user-friendly website, with clear descriptions and pictures of the product, and an easy checkout process with no surprise costs added at the payment gateway, their shopping experience will inevitably be positive. How much more so when the item is delivered just hours later, exactly as ordered and in perfect condition? In most cases, this will be enough to turn shoppers into returning customers with deep loyalty to the brand. The opposite is true when their online shopping experience is frustrating, and delivery is constantly delayed.

The lesson here is that as ecommerce becomes more saturated and competitive, prioritizing customer experience through expedited delivery can be a key differentiator.

The Challenges of Same-Day Delivery

While the benefits of same-day delivery are evident, it comes with its own set of challenges, including operational complexities, cost implications, and the need for robust logistics infrastructure.

According to the McKinsey report, only the etailers with the highest market share in a country can offer sizable same-day delivery services due to the investment involved in establishing a dynamic logistics service.

Even then, only sizable cities can generate enough demand and supply volumes to justify same-day services. Very few enterprises can offer same-day services on a national scale due to the hefty infrastructure investment required to service areas outside big cities.

The report concludes that very few retailers around the world operate at a scale that enables them to run even skeletal logistics operations, let alone same-day delivery.

Meeting the Needs of Customers

Given the complexities of offering on-demand delivery services, many ecommerce businesses have explored alternative means of catering to customers’ demands for immediacy. Let’s take a brief look at some of them.

Establishing a Fulfillment Center Hub

Some retailers are bringing products closer to their customers by setting up decentralized fulfillment center networks comprising a string of smaller hubs across urban areas.

  1. Enabling Customer Pickups

Under this system, customers order goods online but can collect them from retail stores or at kerbsides within hours of checking them out.

  1. Setting up Dark Stores

Dark stores are retail facilities that look like ordinary supermarkets but are closed to the public.

Instead, they are used to house goods purely for online order fulfillment. For an in-depth look into how dark stores function in an urban environment, read our blog post on the subject.

  1. Sharing Warehouse Facilities

While not all ecommerce businesses can afford the costs of establishing a dedicated warehouse, many can rent space in fulfillment centers operated by bigger concerns. Under this arrangement, automation in the warehouse can significantly enhance tenants’ ability to offer same-day delivery.

5.  Outsourcing to a 3PL Company

Third-party logistics (3PL) companies came into being precisely to take care of the delivery side of a company’s business. With their fleets of vehicles and teams of drivers, they are well-placed to take care of same-day and even on-demand deliveries.

Some 3PLs, such as Shipa Delivery, have extensive networks allowing them to make rapid deliveries on a regional scale.

For an example of how 3PLs can significantly improve the business model of an ecommerce enterprise, read our blog post on ways to move Fast Moving Consumer Goods even faster.

  ## An Alternative to Same-Day Delivery ##

If you can’t afford the sophisticated logistics resources needed for same-day deliveries, you could still set yourself apart from your competitors by offering a next day or 24-hour delivery service.

Not all consumers are ready to pay a premium for same-day delivery of their goods, but they may well opt for a cheaper alternative that gets their orders to them within 24 hours.

With more time available to organize batch deliveries, transport managers can utilize route optimization software to plan the most efficient delivery circuits, cutting fuel costs and reducing the number of vehicles on the roads—all of which are key factors in sustainable delivery.

The Future of Same-Day Delivery

Despite the challenges presented by same-day delivery logistics, there is no turning back. The rise of same-day delivery is not just a trend—it's a transformative force that’s reshaping the ecommerce landscape.

The benefits to businesses, as outlined above, include greater customer satisfaction and brand loyalty, lower cart abandonments, and a sharper competitive edge.

The competition will become even fiercer as emerging technologies in last-mile logistics, such as delivery drones, robotics, and self-driving vehicles, are deployed for faster delivery.

Why Not Partner with a 3PL company?##

With the benefit of foresight into inevitable same-day delivery growth, and its business benefits, why not set your company apart from the rest sooner, rather than later?

You can do so by partnering with a 3PL service such as Shipa Delivery. We offer a comprehensive range of delivery options for ecommerce operators, including same-day delivery, and have an expansive logistics network spanning the GCC region, with vast warehouses in Dubai and Kuwait.

To learn more about how we can help you differentiate your enterprise through superlative delivery efficiency and speed, get in touch and have a chat with our team.