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Online retailers have been facing increasingly shifting and demanding requirements from customers. In terms of the ancillary services supporting the online transaction, this landscape translated into a quest to implement and understand speedier deliveries (both in practice and literature). This paper explores and exploits the speed attribute of deliveries by: (i) evaluating its relative importance to other attributes such as, precision and flexibility and (ii) measuring its interaction with precision and dependence upon customer purchase characteristics (e.g., basket value). An econometric discrete choice model is used on data from of a grocery retailer that performs attended home deliveries and let the customer choose the delivery time from a wide range of time slots with varying attributes. We confirm that customers value speed in delivery services. However, both precision (related to the time slot size) and flexibility (related to the ability to choose from different times of the day and days of the week) are not only also relevant for customers as they can overshadow speed. Leveraging the fact that our dataset also includes details about customer purchasing characteristics, we further analyze their effect on the importance of the delivery attributes. Results indicate that the willingness to pay for the different time slots vary drastically across purchasing characteristics (e.g., basket value and relative amount of perishables). These results are robust to distinct model specifications. We conclude that these results should help retailers to better identify which service attributes to prioritize. Moreover, the design and planning of time slots can also benefit from these insights as several of the current assumptions are challenged by the obtained results.


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