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Pat Cory blog

Ending Free Delivery

January 30, 2014

If today's economy has taught us anything, it's that people will pay a premium for delivery of a product that they want.

The perfect example illustrating this ever-growing phenomenon is the Internet-based company Amazon. A winning price/value formula is the basis of its ongoing success, and people are happy to pay a premium price for an item valued at $14.99 just to have it delivered the next day.

We all know that a product needs to offer value through price and/or quality to do well. Taking this a step further, providing a superior quality product for the same or a slightly higher but acceptable price adds yet more value for the consumer.

Offering free delivery of home furnishings was at one time considered to be a competitive advantage. Not so now  the ante is indeed up, and the system is changing. Providing premium, timely in-home delivery, using professional delivery men who place the product where the customer wants it, is today considered to be a value-added advantage.

The reality is that you don't have to give away your service. That said, let's endeavor in 2014 to do away with free delivery and move to premium delivery that is convenient and professional and brings business back to your store.

It's a compelling strategy for breaking out of the commoditization mold and advancing as a market leader.