Amazon with their Prime service has made free shipping more mainstream. The strategic model around free shipping will be debated for many years to come. The next big thing for brick and mortar as well as online retailers is how they can quench their consumers thirst for same day delivery service.
Amazon, Wal-Mart and Google are all testing same day delivery service models in selected regions of the country. Amazon only has 40 distribution centers in the U.S. which means they might have big challenges to overcome to provide this service to all areas of the country. However, Wal-Mart has 4,000 stores it plans to use as distribution centers which means they are closer to consumers and their infrastructure is already in place. Google wants a piece of the action too, they recently launched a pilot program in San Francisco to help local retailers distribute product.
Same day delivery service models have been around for years in selected markets and seem likely to become realty in mainstream shopping sooner rather than later. For example, Flowers.com has been competing on this platform successful for nearly a decade. This will likely yield another blow to brick and mortar stores unless they have online retail sites of their own offering this service. Who says the catalog as a marketing tool is dead? The catalog will play an important role as same day delivery models are tested. It will be used to showcase products and promote these service models. Keep an eye out for these services near you and let us know your thoughts as you use them. Happy shopping!