Guest blog by Nimmity Zappert, Operational Velocity Manager at Localz
Christmas Peak won’t be won by the retailer with the fanciest TV ad. It will be won by delivering to the Individual what they want, when they want it and where they want it.We're already sick of seeing all the Christmas marketing. Some have been cute, others awe inspiring - but they are unlikely to have inspired us to buy.
‘But I love the Christmas ads! All the beautiful things in the shops…’ I hear you say. This may be true. But let’s see if this scenario sounds familiar to you:
It’s four days before Christmas. You have your sister-in-law in the family Kris Kringle raffle. Sister-in-law has requested a specific Jamie Oliver cooking pot. You know they are in stock at the nearest department store, but with all the end of school dance concerts, speech nights and sports presentation nights you haven’t been able to make it there. You have a ten minute window at work during your lunch hour to jump online to see where they are in stock.
You find four options:
1. Discount: 20% off from a discount supplier 30 mins drive from your home, open 8am to 6pm.
You immediately dismiss this option. 20% discount is just not worth the 1 to 2 hours it will take you to drive there, battle Christmas crowds to find a parking space, buy the item and drive home. That is if you can find a spare 1 to 2 hours in your schedule at all.
2. Free Delivery: Full price, but with a free delivery with a 3 to 4 day delivery window. Delivery is only during business hours.
This is a risky option. Good chance that it won’t get delivered before Christmas. If it does, work has put a ban on having packages delivered to work as they were tired of the receptionist being a package service for their staff. So that means you need to have it delivered to home, but you can’t be home during the day. So chances are you will get carded and won’t be able to collect before Christmas.
3. Fast Delivery: Full price, with fast delivery with a $25 fee. Delivery is only during business hours.
This might work, but you still have the issue of getting carded and getting to the collection point before Christmas.
4. Collection: Buy online and collect in store within 2 hours, from a store close to the city train station you leave from on your way home from work.
This is looking like your best option. You need to get home so you can pick up grandma and take her to the youngest daughters end of school concert, which starts at 6:30pm. If you leave work on time you will have a 15 min window swing by the store and grab the pot before jumping on the train home.
Which option would you choose? At which point did you think about the gorgeous Christmas ad you saw at the movies on Saturday?
Latest research conducted by Localz tells us that 75% of people want service delivery to happen between 5:00pm and 10:00pm, with the sweet spot being between 6pm and 8pm. In the scenario above – this option wasn’t given at all. For the large majority of Australians, out of hours delivery is still not an option – even if you are willing to pay more.
71% of people surveyed cited physical and emotional disturbance around delivery appointments.
· 40% felt stress and anxiety whilst they waited for a service or parcel delivery
· 13% have had to cancel social plans
· 11% experienced disrupted sleep
· 7% felt uncomfortable using the toilet
With all the other pressures that come with the Silly Season, one would expect these levels of stress to be even higher leading up to Christmas.
52% would be relieved of the stress if they could track the delivery status on their phone or a website. That is assuming that the tracking information is accurate and correct of course. I can’t count the times I’ve received a broken Australia Post tracking link.
72% of survey respondents would rather be physically present to receive a delivery. I get this. In fact - as for which option I’d choose – I’d probably go for number four – Collection. That way I control the time and the place, and can be sure that I have what I need in my actual hands.
72% said they would greatly benefit if they could connect with the delivery person directly. There is nothing more frustrating than seeing a van looking lost down your street, but not being able to contact them.
So it stands to reason, the retailers that will win Christmas Peak this year are the ones that are best at reducing that stress and making it easiest for customers to get what they want, when they want it and where they want it.
I’ll still watch the Christmas ads. But I’ll prioritise actually enjoying Christmas over stressing about a delivery every day and twice on Sunday. Whoever makes my life the easiest wins.