eCommerce

Same-Day Delivery Wars Heat Up

Same-Day Delivery Wars Heat Up

You know things are getting real – really real – when booze enters into the mix. And that’s what’s happening with same-day delivery, among the biggest battlegrounds in all of retail, and one where fresh moves continue to increase competition in that area.

For those who haven’t heard, Sam’s Club has announced that some of its shoppers using Instacart can now receive same-day alcohol delivery.

The service is now available in more than 200 locations in select markets, with plans to expand to additional locations in the coming months. The delivery options allow customers to get any of the hundreds of Sam’s Club’s alcohol options – including Member’s Mark Sangria, Member’s Mark Asolo-Prosecco and Member’s Mark Moscato D’Asti, as well as member favorites like Kendall Jackson Chardonnay, Modelo Especial and Tito’s Handmade Vodka – in as fast as one hour.

Consumer Expectations

This is only the latest development in the field of same-day delivery, where retailers strive to fulfill consumer expectations for want-it-now shipments of products – an expectation set largely by Amazon, and one that its rivals cannot easily ignore.

Target is among the latest merchants to boost its same-day delivery offerings. The retail chain is making same-day delivery though Shipt available to all of its shoppers. The retailer’s June 13 announcement shows Target is moving to compete with Amazon and Walmart in an ongoing bid to provide customers with the quickest delivery service.

Target said online customers in 47 states can now get items delivered on the same day for a flat fee of $9.99 per order. Target acquired Shipt in 2017 for $550 million. Previously, Target customers could get same-day delivery by being a Shipt member, for $99 a year. That’s still an option, but now customers can also get one-day delivery for just one order.

Not to be undone, Walmart recently said it is expanding its next-day delivery service before the start of the back-to-school shopping season. The retailer is opening up the service to a dozen new states, including in parts of Florida, Georgia, Illinois and Wisconsin. It originally launched in May for customers in Phoenix, Las Vegas and Southern California, and Walmart previously revealed it wants to reach about three-quarters of the U.S. by the end of the year.

Walmart’s next-day delivery is available for customers who spend $35 or more. Orders are shipped in one box to address complaints from customers about receiving multiple boxes.

Grocery Deliveries

Groceries, too, are being used in tandem with faster deliveries, underscoring how more shoppers are becoming comfortable with ordering grocery items online. Walmart’s latest offering in this area is the “Delivery Unlimited” subscription, which will offer consumers the option of either paying $12.95 per month or $98 per year to shop online and have their groceries delivered as often as they like, with no restrictions on delivery times. According to Walmart, it is just another payment option for online orders.

Walmart introduced next-day service in an effort to compete with Amazon.

“Amazon has a larger catalog, and thus can deliver more products next-day, but Walmart refuses to lag behind,” said Juozas Kaziukėnas, founder of Marketplace Pulse, according to Bloomberg. “They are on a mission to make Walmart as good as Amazon without paying for a Prime membership.”

Earlier this year, in April, Amazon said it would spend $800 million to slash delivery times from two days to one for its millions of Prime customers. As of now, one-day delivery is an option for some goods – and certain products even qualify for same-day delivery, depending on the market. However, according to Amazon Chief Financial Officer Brian Olsavsky, the goal is to shift the standard for Prime customers from two-day shipping (which has been the headline Prime offering since day one) to single-day delivery.

Alcohol, groceries and countless other products are all part of the same-day delivery mix. Consumers can expect more moves on this front in the coming months and into 2020.

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