The Importance of Being on Time

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Consumers want items to arrive when expected. What to do if you’re going to miss a mattress delivery window

When it comes to delivery of big and bulky items like mattresses, consumers are a bit like Goldilocks. They don’t want their purchases to arrive late — and they don’t want them to arrive early, either. They want them right on time.

That’s according to an online survey of 1,606 U.S. adults from DispatchTrack, a San Jose,
California-based provider of delivery management software that serves furniture and mattress companies, among others.

“When it comes to big and bulky purchases, last-mile delivery is a monumental challenge for brands and customer retention today. I do think consumers are giving brands some slack because they know the supply chain is in crisis and delays happen,” says Satish Natarajan, DispatchTrack co-founder and chief executive officer. “However, the data strongly signals that consumers aren’t as forgiving when it comes to communication, including order tracking. Retail customers want to know where their order is and when it’s being delivered.” 

According to the survey results, six in 10 consumers said they are unlikely to buy from a retailer again if their order didn’t arrive on time. And one in three said having a big and bulky item arrive early was inconvenient, too. Overall, consumers are frustrated by poor communication from companies and their inability to track their orders. 

So, what can you do?

COMMUNICATE OFTEN. Consumers have come to expect regular updates about their orders, whether they ordered online or are receiving delivery from a local store. Eight in 10 want delivery updates, and they want them daily (39%) or “as often as possible” (27%), according to the survey. If an order is going to be late (or early), communication is especially important. Of consumers who had a bad experience with delivery, more than half blamed a lack of communication from the retailer or delivery company.

COMMUNICATE THE WAY THEY LIKE. Communicate the way they like. Seven in 10 consumers prefer text updates. About half are OK with emails and 38% like phone calls. When they place their order, ask your customers to let you know how they want to hear from you.

OFFER TRACKING. In addition to sending delivery updates via their preferred method, give customers a way to jump online and track orders themselves. More than 40% want to know exactly where their order is on its journey to their home.

DON’T REQUIRE A SIGNATURE. If you offer threshold mattress delivery, don’t require a signature. Nearly three-quarters of consumers say they are frustrated by companies that require signatures for delivery.

(In April, Sleep Savvy’s sister publication, BedTimes, looked at what bedding manufacturers are doing on their end to keep products flowing to retailers. You can find the article at BedTimesMagazine.com under the Features tab.)