Time is money. That’s the reality of today’s business environment. Added to that are buyers and engineers used to the business-to-consumer world of their personal lives where free shipping, even overnight services, is standard as retailers try to quench the thirst of immediate gratification.
At least for the time being, distribution giant Arrow has introduced free overnight shipping of any of its in-stock products if an order meets a $20 minimum. Much like Amazon, the free shipping is applied once the order minimum is met. “Free overnight shipping will help engineers accelerate their path to production,” said Darryl Shaper, vice president of Digital Marketing for Arrow.com. Shaper told EBN:
Getting products fast is important and sometimes imperative for engineers. One of the biggest hurdles for engineers is streamlining the design cycle to meet the increasing speed demands of the marketplace. With the growth of the IoT, connected devices, and advances in computing tech, there is pressure on engineers to move faster than ever.
In the past, engineers and procurement pros trying to close a delivery gap and get critical tasks done on time could get parts overnight, but only with a hefty price tag. The argument, of course, is that the cost of waiting far outweighs any shipping fee. At the same time, organizations continue to be hyper cost conscious, so there’s often pushback.
At the same time, for consumers, free shipping has become an expected online shopping perk. In the Walker Sands Future of Retail 2016 study, 88% of those surveyed said that free shipping makes them more likely to shop online, compared to only 83% in 2015. Meanwhile, 69% said overnight shipping options would make them more likely to shop, compared to 62% in 2015. Is it any surprise then that electronics distributors are turning to the same types of promotions to woo business buyers?
Arrow has over 3.8 billion components in stock, ready to ship, distributed over its several warehouses across the globe, the company said. For customers in North America, parts can be received the next day, while customers worldwide will be delivered “as quickly as possible.” Shaper called it “the fastest and most affordable shipping option in the industry.”
Currently, the program is slated to run for a calendar quarter, but the company will continue to evaluate success and customer engagement. “So far, the response has been incredible,” Shaper told EBN. “Engineers are able to get access to components faster than ever before (without having to pay huge premiums to do so). We are continually evaluating the promotion, but early returns have been very positive.”
What sort of e-commerce perks are important to your business? Let us know in the comments section below.
— Hailey Lynne McKeefry, Editor in Chief, EBN