Delivering on Consumer Demand

Justin Yelda

By Paul Bensman, Associate Broker / CEO at Locations Commercial Real Estate Services

What do we want?
When do we want it?

As online sales and customer expectations continue to grow, retailers are scrambling to find new/different/better ways to get products to the consumer. With many retailers offering identical or similar goods, delivery cost, speed and options often become the tie-breaking factors. Back in 2014, Deloitte predicted, “The ability to deliver orders to customers rapidly, via a method of their choosing, is now a major point of competition.”  

A post on The Future of Business and Tech describes the delivery-driven realities this way:

"E-commerce sales in the U.S. surpassed $341 billion in 2015, driving retailers to create delivery strategies that can quickly fulfill orders, sometimes partnering with personal shoppers and companies like Uber and Lyft to reach the customer. Even groceries are available with a tap of the screen. Online grocery sales are forecast to reach $42 billion this year. And the key factor, as always, for real estate is 'location, location, location.' Keeping goods as close to consumers as possible from the start is crucial to satisfying delivery expectations."

Locally, we’ve seen Metro Detroit area Meijer grocery stores partnering with Shipt to offer 24/7 ordering, either by mobile phone app or computer, and on-demand delivery provided by a Shipt shopper/driver.

When it comes to delivery speed and innovation, Amazon leads the pack.  

Thanks to their robot-driven fulfillment centers, Amazon only needs a minute of human labor to ship your next package.  

Even Faster Delivery
Is waiting 1-2 days for delivery too much?  In the past year, Amazon has quietly built out a network of at least 58 Amazon Prime Now hubs in the US to reduce the time from order through delivery to just 1-2 HOURS.

New Delivery Options
Bright yellow Amazon Lockers are popping up in major cities across the country (including Detroit). These self-service delivery locations allow customers to pick up and return packages at a time and place that's convenient for them. They’re located in shopping centers, retail stores, transit stations and other locations.  According to Amazon’s website, they’re currently in over 100 locations, and that number is growing every day.

What’s next? Just push a button.
Amazon Prime members can order a “dash button” for over 150 brands.  Consumers set the product each button orders on the Amazon website, then attach it to a convenient location and order the product with a single push of a button – no need for a computer, tablet or smartphone.  Each brand button costs $5.00 and only Amazon Prime members can use them – so convenience does come at a price.

Is pushing a button too much work? No problem!
Amazon keeps making it even faster and easier to buy. Now our appliances can order for us. For example, a washing machine tracks how much detergent is being used and will automatically reorder when supplies are low, or a coffee maker that will never let you run out of coffee and printers that automatically order ink. Manufacturers are building the code right into each appliance.

Consumer demand is fueling innovation in order fulfillment.  We’ve already reached the point where our appliances can order their own supplies. I can't wait to see what's next!


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