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12 Responsive Logistics Models for Retailers

Article - 5 Min. Read

There’s no one-size-fits-all logistics model perfect for every retailer. Explore 12 different decentralized logistics programs that industry leaders have implemented to see what could work for you.

In today’s accelerated e-commerce market, agility is essential to building a strong logistics program. That’s why decentralized shipping models—which put goods closer to the end buyer and allow for faster, more seamless order fulfillment—have taken hold.

But decentralized logistics isn’t one-size-fits-all. Many retailers have turned to responsive models that offer customers a blend of online and in-store interactions. These models introduce logistical flexibility while helping both parties save on shipping costs and, in many cases, delivering orders to customers sooner.

With these adaptable models, businesses can navigate around the challenges of retail logistics to build a more agile fulfillment strategy.

Explore responsive logistics models.

Customer experience is the lifeblood of a modern e-commerce business. Retailers have very little, if any, margin for error in attracting and keeping the attention of today’s consumer. Based on business priorities, logistics infrastructure and consumer preferences, a company can adapt a logistics program to ensure it delivers the best-fitting experience for customers.

Below, find learnings—from the percentage of businesses offering these programs to the frequency of customers using them—on 12 different responsive logistics models, all gathered from a Forrester Consulting research study commissioned by USPS.[1]

Buy online,
pick up in store
(BOPIS)

Rate of Adoption: 89% currently offer or plan to offer

Frequency of Customer Use: 43% of businesses see most of their customers using this service

Buy online,
ship to store,
pick up in store

Rate of Adoption: 87% currently offer or plan to offer

Frequency of Customer Use: 38% of businesses see most of their customers using this service

Buy online,
return to store

Rate of Adoption: 86% currently offer or plan to offer

Frequency of Customer Use: 35% of businesses see most of their customers using this service

Buy online,
ship to home

Rate of Adoption: 87% currently offer or plan to offer

Frequency of Customer Use: 53% of businesses see most of their customers using this service

Reserve online,
pick up and pay
in store

Rate of Adoption: 84% currently offer or plan to offer

Frequency of Customer Use: 42% of businesses see most of their customers using this service

Buy in store or online, pick up at a third‑party location (e.g., locker)

Rate of Adoption: 74% currently offer or plan to offer

Frequency of Customer Use: 46% of businesses see most of their customers using this service

Buy in store,
ship to store,
pick up in store

Rate of Adoption: 90% currently offer or plan to offer

Frequency of Customer Use: 33% of businesses see most of their customers using this service

Browse online,
purchase
in store

Rate of Adoption: 85% currently offer or plan to offer

Frequency of Customer Use: 43% of businesses see most of their customers using this service

After-hours
pick up

Rate of Adoption: 71% currently offer or plan to offer

Frequency of Customer Use: 45% of businesses see most of their customers using this service

Buy in store,
ship to home

Rate of Adoption: 81% currently offer or plan to offer

Frequency of Customer Use: 46% of businesses see most of their customers using this service

Next-day
delivery

Rate of Adoption: 85% currently offer or plan to offer

Frequency of Customer Use: 45% of businesses see most of their customers using this service

Same-day
delivery

Rate of Adoption: 81% currently offer or plan to offer

Frequency of Customer Use: 41% of businesses see most of their customers using this service

Key Takeaway

Different businesses face different challenges when implementing decentralized logistics programs. The array of adaptable fulfillment models can help you find a blueprint that caters to your retail business.

Weigh the specific demands and behaviors of your customers against this industry research, then consider the strengths and limitations of your business model. With these insights, you’ll be able to find a responsive program that maximizes your strengths and delivers the best overall experience for your customers.

For a more in-depth look at different shipping and logistics programs, start exploring our interactive decentralized shipping tool, where you can enter your specific business goals to find a model that works for you.
Footnotes
  1. [1]Forrester Consulting survey of 317 U.S. decision-makers in e-commerce, marketing and supply chain with authority around logistics, fulfillment and marketing. Commissioned by USPS, April 2020.

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