To be certain it was not an April Fool’s prank, I had to check the dateline of the story that revealed the idea Walmart was considering a plan in which it would offer same-day-delivery with a twist—customers would become delivery men (and women). Couple this with Google’s entry into the home delivery business and we officially have the makings of one of those tributary commerce businesses trends that are best left on the whiteboard.
In the matter of one generation, we have gone from waiting for the mailman (as the late George Carlin joked “I’m sending away…”) to “it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight” to instant downloads. The new battleground, with Amazon, eBay, Google and leading big box retailers playing the one-up manship game, is same-day delivery with a small up charge. The question is, is fast-twitch delivery for the ADD set something digital marketers should embrace or avoid?
The notion of prime delivery services takes me to a recommendation my colleague Laura McLellan and I have in our recent report, “Digital Marketers Escalate Investments to Support Commerce Experiences” (subscription may be required) which states: “Select external providers that have extended ecosystems in which components of the commerce experience easily fit together.” Since delivery is the last quarter mile between a merchant and a customer in any commerce experience, I take our advice to mean, leave logistics to the experts. This is not to say companies such as Amazon or Google should consider contracting with logistical/delivery experts such as DHL, FedEx, UPS or even the beleaguered USPS, but customer service issues alone should stop those contemplating the DIY approach dead in their tracks.
Who can forget the ending of “Cast Away”–when FedEx super-employee Chuck Noland (played by Tom Hanks) delivers the package to rural Texas that he had in his custody for his years deserted on an island in the Pacific? To repeat: Delivery is best left to the experts.