Omnichannel fulfillment provider OneRail has released a report on 2024 shipping fulfilment goals for the retail industry.

Surveying 350 managers and executives in the retail and e-commerce sectors, the report finds that retailers are aiming to diversify their delivery networks to reduce risk and keep their delivery promises. 73% of survey respondents stated that relying on their internal fleets makes it much more difficult to meet demand spikes.

A significant 96% of survey respondents report that their customers consider delivery an essential part of their shopping experience, and that 20% of the customer complaints that retailers receive pertain to long delivery times and delays.

More than a third of respondents said their delivery network doesn’t match their product catalogue in real time, and 67% reported that their limited delivery network limits sales.

With 69% of retail fulfillment leaders saying that using only one delivery partner represents an intolerable risk to their business, and 65% of respondents planning to offer same-day or next-day delivery in the next one to two years, it is evident that investment in diversified delivery networks is where the industry is headed.

Technology in retail delivery

Retailers must focus on investing in diversifying their delivery networks, automation, technologies and processes that drive efficiencies, to meet customer demand in 2024 and beyond.

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Companies will need to transform static data inputs trapped in data silos into dynamic real-time optimisation and decision-making. A real-time decision engine can triangulate inventory level and location, while a variety of carrier and mode options can be optimised to meet a wide spectrum of load size, delivery speed, speciality capabilities and customer preferences.

OneRail CEO Bill Cantania commented: “Retailers and product distributors have realised that final mile delivery is the weakest link in the chain, impacting their customer experience, and so they are investing in technology solutions to mitigate risk and differentiate themselves, while expanding margin to remain viable in the market.”