How Small Businesses Can Benefit From Same-Day Delivery

Regional consumers report higher delivery expectations

If you’re a small business owner and think same-day delivery is only for major retailers and companies like Amazon, you’re missing out on an opportunity to attract new customers and retain existing ones. A recent report revealed that expectations surrounding delivery – from speed to professionalism of the delivery person – are rapidly increasing. Meanwhile, the quality of delivery service consumers experience is actually decreasing.

Nationwide, consumers are seeing a decline in delivery quality. For instance, whereas 42 percent of online shoppers reported receiving damaged packages in 2017, that number went up to 56 percent in 2018. Other worsening issues reported included receiving incorrect items, items arriving damaged, and packages arriving late or going missing altogether. And while shoppers in the western region of the U.S., including Colorado, fared slightly better than others, they’re still 13 percent more likely to have had packages go missing compared to other regions.


According to the report, delivery speed and same-day delivery options are a major deciding factor for consumers in the West region, when shopping online. Consumers in the West are 9.5 percent more likely to expect companies to have ‘much faster’ delivery times than the previous year (46 percent West vs. 42 percent elsewhere) and are also 14 percent more likely to abandon an online purchase due to slow delivery time (58 percent West vs. 51 percent non-West). And while 31 percent of consumers nationwide reported opting for same-day delivery in 2018 (up from 17 percent in 2017), regional consumers were more likely to use same day delivery than other parts of the country (36 percent West vs. 29 percent non-West).


Though it’s clear same-day delivery options are important to consumers everywhere, they’re not able to take advantage of it as much as they’d prefer. Consumers throughout the country are experiencing a huge expectations gap between what products they want delivered same-day and what products they actually receive same-day. This held true across nearly all product categories measured in the aforementioned report, including groceries, alcohol and household products.

Our region’s biggest expectation gap was for health-care products, including prescriptions, medication and medical devices or supplies (53 percent of consumers in the West want same-day delivery for health-care products vs. only 5 percent that received same-day delivery). Given that 24 percent of consumers nationwide have reported shopping at least weekly at national pharmacy chains, like Walgreens and CVS, businesses that sell health products have a massive opportunity to meet the growing demand for same-day delivery. 


Same-day delivery was the fastest growing expedited delivery option in the past year, and small business that offer it stand to gain a lot. About 74 percent of consumers nationwide reported they were more likely to purchase from a company again after receiving same-day delivery on an item.

The challenge here is that most small businesses aren’t equipped to offer quality same-day delivery without sacrificing other areas of the business. And even if a small business can focus some efforts on offering delivery, it’s imperative they do it well. Nearly 57 percent of consumers reported once they’ve experienced unprofessionalism from a delivery person, they’re less likely to purchase from that retailer again. Professionalism is especially important to consumers in the West, where 77 percent agree that the professionalism of the delivery person is important (compared to 74 percent of consumers in other national regions).

For many small businesses, partnering with a delivery provider might be the most affordable and tangible method of offering expedited delivery services to customers. By outsourcing delivery, business owners don’t have to worry about delivery operation costs or management and can instead focus on what they do best: running their business.

Sean Spector is CEO and co-founder of Dropoff, a tech-driven same-day delivery service that provides businesses a fast, reliable and professional solution. 

Categories: Sales & Marketing