Schedule a future delivery during checkout for an e-commerce transaction
Recently there was a great sale on Amazon.in and Flipkart.com. And it so happens that we are setting up a new place to stay in Mumbai. So we wanted to take advantage of the sale and gobble up as many items as possible.
But we could not. Why?
We are planning to move there after a month. So we can’t order anything now, as the items would be delivered within a week, and no one would be there to receive it. This case might not be a common one, but there is a good chunk of people who are on vacation or wanting to receive an item on a future date, for some reason (ex: birthday gift, anniversary gift, etc) - but would like to take advantage of a sale.
Is there a solution?
During checkout of any transaction (not just during sale) allow customers to schedule deliveries at a certain date in the future (maybe until a month). The sellers won’t lose out on such customers, and generate more guaranteed sales. The guys who are traveling can now shop more based on scheduled (for ex: Saturday) deliveries etc — why bother visiting the website again to order later.
For the warehouse fulfillment, it can be reverse planned. More number of items could be grouped for a delivery to a certain city from the warehouse with much more predictability, reducing logistics costs. (ex: Amazon can convert my Prime shipping to regular shipping and schedule it to reach me on time). With the right algorithms applied across, e-commerce firms will be able to predict, plan and save the costs better.
Well, you could say, currently the e-commerce sites offer a scheduled delivery — the delivery boys call and check if we are available — but they wont keep the goods for long. Also why even go through that hassle, if the deliveries can be scheduled at the time of checkout.
I’m sure with right marketing, it won’t be a tough job to strike the right chord with the right audience.
Please let me know what you think. What kind of challenges we might encounter? What could be the hidden benefits?