Retailers of large items—everything from big-screen TVs and barbecue grills to sporting equipment and furniture—are losing sales if they don’t offer same-day delivery, according to a new survey from Seattle-based Fleetzen. Fleetzen, it should be noted, has a vested interest in the subject: Instead of moving people, the Uberlike startup, along with Los Angeles-based Buddytruk, move items like sofas and kayaks. Consumers who download the Fleetzen or Buddytruk apps to their mobile devices can get same-day delivery of bulky purchases with the tap of a button.
In the survey of 615 U.S. adults, 73% of respondents said they would be more likely to purchase “oversized” items if the store provided same-day delivery service. Queen- and king-size mattresses (unless compressed, roll packed and boxed) would definitely fall into that category. Interestingly, 11% of respondents said they would forgo the bulky purchase entirely if same-day delivery weren’t an option.
What’s more, consumers are willing to pay a reasonable fee—as much as $100—for same-day delivery, according to the survey.
“The research confirms—and in many ways exceeds—what we originally thought; that offering a same-day delivery option at a reasonable price can be a significant competitive advantage for a retailer of oversized items,” says Fleetzen co-founder Nirdesh Mittal.
Some 41% of those surveyed said their most recent decision to purchase a large item was made on an impulse while in the store; another 38% reported having bought an oversized item in the past year that didn’t fit into their own vehicle and they had to either rent transportation or call a friend for help.
Technology can help make same-day delivery (or next-day delivery for more patient consumers) easier on retailers and more pleasant for customers. Use directional and traffic apps to create shorter delivery windows: A customer told a mattress will arrive between 5 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. is going to be much happier than one who is told the delivery team will show up between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. Keep your delivery drivers’ GPS apps up to date so they never get lost and have them call or text customers when they’re within 15 minutes or so of the home.
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