The Amazon Effect On Shipping Products

greg sleter headshotIf there are two topics of discussion many in the housewares segment are tired of talking about, Amazon and Millennials may top the list for most.

While we’ll leave Millennials alone, for now, Amazon remains top of mind for nearly everyone be they vendor or retailer.

Over the past few years, there has been much talk across retail regarding the steps traditional brick-and-mortar retailers need to take as part of an effort to compete with Amazon.

In the past, I’ve discussed the need for store-based retailers to be more engaging with shoppers while also offering a product selection that is unique and can’t be found by simply searching Amazon on one’s smartphone.

Retail’s big boys also continue working to address a host of issues as part of their effort to better compete with the e-commerce giant, which includes store pick-up options and quicker shipment of products to a customer’s home.

It’s the latter that got me thinking recently.

My family needed a new vacuum and we found the unit we wanted at a good price from a non-store retailer that’s not Amazon. As many do today, the order was placed easily through a personal electronic device and we received our e-mail confirmation.

The one fault in the process was that it took six days for the vacuum to arrive. Sure this is a first world problem. But in a world of 48 hour delivery from seemingly everywhere offered by Amazon and now a few others, it seemed odd to me that this particular retailer did not offer the same shipping time frame.

While the six-day arrival time was not a major issue personally, it led me to think about other consumers. Would they be pleased about waiting six days for an item they know they could get in two days from Amazon?

While admittedly Amazon has set a high bar in terms of how quickly they get product into the hands of their customers, it is imperative for other retailers to find ways to do the same. Otherwise, more of their sales will continue moving over to Amazon.