Operations

Saks Off 5th adds Guaranteed Delivery Date

The retailer is displaying exact delivery dates for items across product pages and checkout.

a woman passing a package to a man

Accurate delivery dates mean happy customers. (Photo by Kampus Productions via Pexels)

After revamping its logistics network, Saks Off 5th will start providing an exact date of delivery for items that customers are shopping online.

The news: The off-price luxury retailer is introducing Guaranteed Delivery Date. While many ecommerce experiences offer a general time range when their package can be expected to be shipped or delivered, this feature is embedding the specific date of arrival for an item, and it is making it part of the shopping experience.

Here's how it works:

Up to date: A “real time calculated delivery date” will be available for thousands of items.

Shop the delivery date: The date is visible on product detail pages, so it’s on view during browsing, before shoppers click the buy button.

A concrete delivery date will be provided for all possible shipping methods at checkout, so customers can select the best option based both on price, and when an item will arrive.

The upshot: “Customers no longer have to wait until their order is shipped to have visibility to arrival date,” says Saks Off 5th.

Key quote: Before, “customers were presented with a standard delivery time frame for each item, regardless of destination, which meant items shipping to New York, Seattle or Hawaii all had the same shipping period of three to five business days," said Shivi Shankaran, COO, SaksOFF5TH.com, in a statement. "With our new logistics capabilities now in place, we're able to analyze all of the many factors that go into estimating a delivery date, such as where the product is, where it needs to go, who can help us deliver, and provide a concrete date for when customers will receive their package based on when they order.”

How it happened:

The feature came together as a result of in-house technology development and fulfillment center enhancements.

Saks Off 5th undertook a project in 2021 to diversify its carrier network, with the goal of increasing speed and efficiency.

The diversification project expanded when the company partnered with Shipium, a shipping and fulfillment technology platform. This allowed it to expand partnerships with multiple regional carriers. Overall, it is improving delivery speed and accuracy.

Holiday rush: It’s one of a number of shipping features that Saks Off 5th is introducing for the holiday season. Shipping deadlines will be extended by three days to provide customers more time. It is also launching new shipping methods, such as Expedited and Next Day delivery.

Transparency over time

Getting items on time can be make or break for shoppers. A recent survey from Loqate found that 84% of shoppers are concerned about packages arriving on time in 2022. The Guaranteed Delivery feature gives a customer the option to choose a delivery time while shopping, just like they are choosing a look, style and color of an item.

Supply chain professionals often talk about how logistics is now a customer-facing function. This brings it front and center into the buying decision.

For years, the focus of ecommerce has been on improving delivery speeds. Displaying when an item will arrive shows the role that transparency can play, as well. As Zappos.com Chief Experience Officer Stacy Wagner said at the recent Home Delivery World conference, customers may even be more concerned about when an item will arrive than how fast.

“Moreso than as quickly as possible, [customers] want to be told at the onset, when is it going to arrive, and have that be accurate,” Wagner said at the Philadelphia event. “That’s almost more important than the speed with which it gets to people’s homes.”

Delivery expectations may vary between categories, but providing a time and date that customers can plan around goes a long way toward meeting them where they are.

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