Despite healthy adoption of basic expedited shipping options, retailers continue to struggle with rapid fulfillment and in-store pickup. Even fewer support flexible fulfillment across their sites, failing to meet consumer expectations.

Nearly all brands analyzed year over year in Gartner L2’s Omnichannel report offer next-day shipping and 84% support in-store returns. However, just 61% allow shoppers to buy online and pick up items in-store. Moreover, same-day delivery remains out of reach for the vast majority of retailers. Only 20% of brands analyzed year over year support such a service, inching up from 13% in 2017.

The most popular combination of expedited delivery offerings is two-day and next-day, embraced by 61% of analyzed brands. Only 12% support all three options, with another 12% enabling only next-day shipping. At a minimum, best-in-class brands must give shoppers the choice between two-day and next-day shipping (aside from standard shipping).

Omnichannel

Best-in-class brands round out their fulfillment offerings with a frictionless site experience that enables flexibility based on users’ needs. Big box retailer Petco, a Leader in this year’s study, lets shoppers customize their fulfillment choices for individual products. This means that a Petco shopper can buy a new product with repeat delivery and a separate one for in-store pickup. Petco also savvily steers users towards same-day pickup and repeat delivery, both of which pose advantages. Same-day pickup is cost-effective, while repeat delivery can generate recurring revenue.

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