Why the Packaging and Shipping of Shoes Matters More Than You Think

At a time when shoppers expect seamless deliveries, footwear businesses know that the timely arrival of an item is critical. But it’s not just the item that matters to consumers; increasingly, packaging and shipping costs are taking their share of the spotlight.

Enter Radial. The omnichannel commerce technologies and operations firm recently revealed the results of its consumer insights study, “The Everyday Essentials of Successful E-Commerce Fulfillment.”

“Fulfillment is one of the biggest elements impacting customer experience today. Unfortunately, many businesses still approach it as an afterthought,” said Sean McCartney, EVP of operations services at the company.

The analysis surveyed over 3,000 shoppers in the U.S., U.K. and Canada to uncover “consumer attitudes as it relates to package delivery.” Results confirmed that packaging an item is — notably — key.

An average of 36.8 percent of respondents across all locales surveyed prefer that retailers ship goods in eco-friendly packaging. This is likely thanks to growing cause-oriented shopping behavior from the likes of millennials and Generation Z.

Among other findings: More than one third of online shoppers described having had challenges in getting in their online orders (cost and speed were cited as key points of concern effecting respondents’ satisfaction), and almost half of all respondents affirmed that they decided to pick up some items from an online order in-store (especially true for the U.K. at 54 percent).

But it’s not just saving time that’s encouraging shoppers to take matters into their own hands. The biggest reason for consumers opting to pick up these items in-store, in fact, was “to avoid expensive shipping costs” (at 36.7 percent), with reasons related to convenience and time trailing behind at 29.8 percent.

In regard to improving the fulfillment experience, footwear brands and retailers might want to consider turning to newly available technology — especially for those catering to millennial shoppers. It should come as little surprise that this group was the most likely among Americans surveyed to “consider using emerging technology (35.2 percent) to order their packages based on need.”

In order to provide a better fulfillment experience overall, McCartney said: “To execute a successful door-to-door strategy, companies must shift their mindset to be channel-agnostic, offer seamless execution and real-time communication across any commerce medium. It is essential to create a solid foundation through an integrated e-commerce framework that taps resources like artificial intelligence and machine learning to optimize delivery processes and deliver savings straight to the consumer.”

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