Delivery economy: study shows expectations rise for businesses, consumers

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Updated Aug 7, 2019

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On-demand delivery apps, coupled with the growing options for same-day delivery — the “Amazon effect” — are reshaping the expectations for customer service among consumers and businesses. Delivery is now at the core of customer experience, according to a new report from a freight visibility provider, project44.

The report found 94 percent of people who make purchases for their company expect the same level of customer satisfaction as when making personal purchases. These expectations center on low-cost, fast and highly transparent delivery of goods.

“The Delivery Economy and The New Customer Experience” report is based on a blind survey of over 750 consumers and a survey of 500 marketing executives. Key findings outline how the expectations have shifted:

  • 85 percent of marketers now say that delivery is moderately to very important to their brand and customer experience.
  • 74 percent of consumers say that when a package isn’t delivered when expected, it hurts their impression of the company.
  • 52 percent of consumers say free or discounted shipping is one of the most important factors in their purchase decision and gave shipping the same emphasis as the price of the product.
  • 65 percent of marketers also cited good customer service as a core driver of purchase decisions, but only 25 percent of consumers agreed.
  • 71 percent of consumers say on-demand delivery apps are re-shaping consumer expectations for how they want all of their online purchases delivered.
  • 56 percent of marketers cite delivery and transportation companies and supply chain/shipping departments (47 percent) among the top three stakeholders to deliver the best customer experience.

“We find it very telling that consumers give the same weight to delivery as they do to the price of a product in their customer experience,” said Jett McCandless, founder and CEO if project44. “With the rapidly growing use of on-demand delivery apps and same-day delivery services, customers aren’t just buying a product, they’re buying an entire experience. The Delivery Economy is here to stay and will continue to have a vast influence on B2C and B2B expectations in the short- and long-term.”

Elaine Singleton, vice president of Supply Chain at Technicolor, sees the impact of consumer delivery apps on B2B. Technicolor is a Blu-Ray and DVD manufacturer and distributor that major Hollywood studios rely on to service over 9,500 retailers a week such as Target, Walmart, Best Buy and Costco.

“One of the biggest draws of on-demand delivery apps like Postmates and Instacart is that customers know where an order stands, can map the route, and know down to the mile and the minute when a product will arrive at their door,” she said. “Brand leaders and marketing departments should be partnering with key internal and external stakeholders like sourcing, inventory, logistics, and transportation carriers in order to gain control of these new customer experience, and truly succeed in the Delivery Economy.”

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To download the complete report, go to