SBJ/June 30-July 6, 2014/In Depth

E-retailers inch toward same-day delivery

Fans’ insatiable appetite for licensed championship merchandise as soon as their favorite team wins has some in the industry predicting that same-day delivery will soon be common among sports e-retailers.

Same-day delivery is already offered in some large cities by e-commerce giants such as Wal-Mart, Amazon and Barnes & Noble, for an incremental charge ranging from $5 to $10.
TOP ONLINE RETAILERS
RETAILER 2013 ONLINE SALES (IN BILLIONS)
Amazon $67.86
Apple $18.30
Staples $10.40
Wal-Mart $10.03
Sears $4.90
QVC (Liberty Interactive) $4.80
Netflix $4.38
Macy's $4.15
Office Depot $4.10
Dell $3.55

Source: Internet Retailer, May 2014


For some, the move to same-day delivery seems like a natural transition.

“Look at 10 years ago, and five to 10 days was an acceptable delivery time,” said MLBAM President Bob Bowman. “The whole business has changed dramatically, but the bar has moved more on delivery than it has on assortment and price. Amazon Prime is now a model.”

However, for others the promise of same-day delivery is less important than product assortment and a dynamic website.

“Same day is overstated and over-hyped,” said Fanatics.com CEO Doug Mack. “Ultimately, what customers want is a great experience and great selection. If you allow a consumer to avoid getting in the car, tomorrow is good enough.”

Same-day delivery is another way for traditional retailers to compete with online retailers. However, same-day pickup of e-commerce orders in stores, now offered by big-box retailers of every variety, may be a sufficient counter.

“Except for holidays, we don’t have much upgrading on shipping at all,” said Steve Strawbridge, vice president of merchandise sales and licensing at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, “but we do have [e-commerce] pickups in our store every day.”

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