Speed of delivery is crucial in the age of e-commerce and digital retail

15 May 2019 Consultancy.co.za 2 min. read
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Speed of delivery is increasingly emerging as a key differentiating factor amongst a number of businesses in the contemporary market, particularly those involved in the retail sector, but also extending to other relevant areas. This is according to Refilwe Malukele, Managing Director at business advisory firm Yellowwood.

Maluleke’s assertions come in the context of the contemporary high-octane lifestyle, where consumers no longer have the time at hand to invest in the process of purchasing. Most are struggling to find time for relaxation and recreation, and prefer not to spend spare time on retail.

As a result, the retail sector has been amongst the most rapidly disrupting industries in recent years, driven by global retail behemoth Amazon. The firm has not only played a significant role in the development of e-commerce, but has also been constantly improving on its speed of delivery.

Where the firm introduced the assurance of “one-day delivery” through Amazon Prime, it further squeezed the delivery time to one hour through the launch of Amazon Prime Now in 2015. According to Maluleke, this has set the precedent for a speed-oriented ecommerce space, where “a few business days for delivery” is now “an eternity.”Refilwe Malukele, Managing Director at Yellowwood

The transformation of the retail sector being described by Maluleke is further driven by the digital retail experience being introduced across South Africa currently, which uses analytics to enhance the supermarket experience. As per Maluleke’ analysis, the obsession with speed is not limited to the retail sector.

A recent report from global professional services firm PwC illustrated how digitalisation was homogenising the operations across the financial services sector. In such a scenario, the only differentiating factor is the quality of customer service, which is quite often gauged by speed of delivery when it comes to service.

“As brands across a variety of sectors embrace new sales models or employ the power of technology to reduce waiting times and provide more customised product offerings, consumers are increasingly requiring stronger justifications from those brands that are not making the effort to do so. Some analysts have even gone so far as to say that the world has moved beyond the age of technology and is now firmly in the grip of the age of experience,” says Maluleke.

Yellowwood is a Johannesburg based marketing and advertising consultancy that specialises in advisory services in the brand stategy domain. Refilwe Maluleke is Managing Director at the firm, and holds more than a decade of experience in the brand management domain.