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When you order online, how quickly do you expect to get your stuff?
Now in the US, you can order from Walgreens and get your stuff in two hours. This same-day delivery covers more than 24,000 products.
In fall 2020, Walgreens debuted its in-store, curbside, and drive-thru pick-up, which only takes 30 minutes if you need an even quicker solution. You can even get your prescription this way. Walgreens also works with Postmates, DoorDash, and Instacart for delivery.
"As the country gets ready to emerge from the pandemic, Walgreens continues its focus on enhancing our customer experience through integrated and simplified shopping solutions," Stefanie Kruse, Vice President of Digital Commerce for Walgreens, said in a press release.
It suggests that the move towards faster and faster delivery times is unstoppable.
Walgreens' curbside offering is just one quick way to get your goods. Image credit: Walgreens.
The global same-day delivery market size is estimated to reach USD 15.1 billion by 2027, expanding at a CAGR of 20.3% from 2020 to 2027, according to a study conducted by Grand View Research, Inc. This significant growth is down to rising demand for quick delivery of products that are purchased online. Moreover, factors such as the growing eCommerce industry and increase in international cross-border trade are further bolstering the market growth.
Sarah Hale, Marketing Manager at HERE and resident of Chicago, US, said many retailers across America are “attacking on all fronts."
“If you are browsing the Postmates or Uber app, you can either click on the individual store or they will pop up when you search for a particular product," she explained.
“Or if you have loyalty points to collect at a particular store, for example, you have the curbside option."
Along with this trend, Sarah said many of the big retailers are looking to acquire the technology for last-mile deliveries and white-label it, rather than rely exclusively on third-party delivery firms.
But is the proliferation of same-day delivery services a sign of how customers expect to receive orders from now on?
“The availability can create the demand," she said. “Because the service exists, it will be used more and more as people see the use case for it."
In other words, consumers get used to the convenience – and they might not want to do without it. For example, new parents might find a curbside collection much easier than carrying an infant around a physical store, even when COVID-19 ceases to be a concern.
What impact this has on shopping habits remains to be seen. Sarah pointed out that the online shopping experience has no substitute yet for the impulse buy.
At the same time, it puts extra pressure on retailers. This is especially when you consider that last-mile delivery can represent 30% to 50% of the total cost of delivery.
Routing tools can help companies get items to their customers more quickly and accurately, and in a more sustainable way.
UPS avoids left-turns since discovering that left-turns tend to go against traffic, wasting time and fuel.
"Our addiction for better, faster, cheaper is not going away when it comes to last-mile delivery," Sarah said. “Consumers are also looking for some reassurance that it is being done in a smart way."
That is a lot for retailers to get to grips with, but technology can support these changes.
Whatever the future holds for last-mile delivery, it seems that long waits for your goods are a thing of the past.