Being a consumer and a reseller has allowed me to write unbiased posts about issues both parties have to deal with. I’m writing this particular one this morning because I’ve been buying sneakers from a minor retailer with one of the worst shipping speeds I’ve ever encountered. I purchased a shoe on Saturday and I have yet to receive any tracking information about it. As a reseller one of the things I encounter on a regular basis are impatient customers who order a shoe at 4pm in the afternoon and expect you to ship it at 4:05 pm the same day. To avoid dealing with excessive and unreasonable demands from buyers, I have set up my shipping/processing and handling to 3 days. (Remember Housakicks is a one man operation. I write, sell, pack up boxes, I have a regular job and primarily I have 3 kids and a wife). I’m not making any excuses. I’m trying to convey that I have no employees, but my kids and wife to help me here and there.
Back to the point, shipping is an important ingredient in the success and growth of any business and companies that have understood this have been known to experience exponential growth. Customers want their items undamaged and in a timely manner and there is nothing worse than receiving a shoe in a beat up box and late. I wrote about Footlocker’s mediocre shipping method see link below
Today my main focus is on shipping speed and I’m going to use my latest example with Store X to show you how important this can be for a minor retailer looking to compete in this very difficult market. I have done a lot of drop shipping with Store X and that in itself says a lot about the store’s digital presence. Most of the items I purchased were sold on third party marketplaces at a 40% mark up while the item was still available via Store X.
What does this mean ? It simply means that the customer doesn’t even know that Stire X exists. That in itself is a real problem, Chris from ARCH shared a post a couple of days ago about Nike’s Q1 report and here are some of the findings.
Nike Direct grew 12% and Nike Digital grew 34% Digital outpaced all channels.
Those that do know Store X exists have another problem on their hands, the slow shipping speed. How in the world are minor retailers looking to compete with Nike and major retailers if they neglect one of the key ingredients in the sauce. They can exploit Footlocker’s weakness ( slow shipping, poor packaging) and they aren’t doing it. Finishline is at least doing something right in this area, see screenshot below:
I placed the order on September the 10th at 11:45 am (1st image).
The order was shipped the same day around 1:57 pm. I was even sent a notification when the package was delivered. This is excellent shipping and all orders from Finishline come in branded Finishline boxes. (2nd image)
Finishline falls in the major retailer category and has understood how critical shipping is to the company’s growth. And the irony here is that if major retailers like Finishline and even Nike, the manufacturer, consider shipping speed a top priority why are smaller retailers not following suit?
I could go on and on about this, but I will stop here because I think I’ve provided a clear picture of the problem at hand. It’s now 10:57 am on Thursday and I still haven’t received any tracking update from Store X yet ( mind you it’s been 4 days since I made the purchase). I included the screenshots from Store X:
I placed the order on Saturday September the 23rd (1st image)And I received the tracking details on Wednesday September the 26th ( 4 days later). Shipping processing according to the site is 1 to 2 business days; so technically I should’ve received the tracking either tTuesda night or early Wednesday morning. It cost me $7.95 and it took 4 days to dispatch the item. Even third party vendors have understood that this is important and sometimes they’ll print out a shipping label and physically drop the item the next day. That tracking number puts the buyer’s mind at ease even if the item hasn’t physically moved yet.
Let him who has ears hear, small retailers should move faster and with efficiency if they want to gain the type of growth Nike is experiencing in their digital channels.