Driven by the rise of online shopping and the modern on-demand lifestyle, millennials now expect their customer journey to be seamless. This has inevitably led to the transformation of the retail industry. While many bricks-and-mortar stores report losses and closures, the world of ecommerce continues to flourish as it meets the needs of millennials today who are seeking convenience and flexibility to fit in with their fast-paced, digitally-driven lifestyles.
Millennials have grown up alongside the smartphone revolution which has provided 24-hour connectivity, allowing them to buy any item from across the world within minutes. The increase in their purchasing power, which is forecast to grow to 35% of annual spending by 2030, highlights that retailers need to attract and engage millennials.
However, it’s not just about offering an omnichannel experience or a killer influencer campaign. With consumer trust at an all-time low, retailers must be able to provide excellent experiences throughout the entire ecommerce lifecycle if they want to attract, acquire and retain customers.
Why delivery is no longer an afterthought
Millennials now expect more from their shopping experience. They want their parcels to be delivered with no interruption and a returns process that is simple. How quickly can they receive an item? How much is delivery? How easy is it to return an item? How many delivery options do they have? Where can my parcel be delivered? All these questions have become crucial factors when at the checkout.
They also play a key role in attracting customers in the first place. For example, research has shown that 95% of UK shoppers are buying products online due to improved convenience and timely delivery guarantees. This emphasises that, although once considered an afterthought, the delivery process has become a vital factor in the overall shopping experience. This is especially true given that online shopping complaints are now higher than high street retailer complaints, driven by issues related to the delivery of items. So, how can retailers overcome this challenge?
Have a delivery experience that delivers
Retailers must recognise that while shoppers now have the freedom to shop at any online store 24/7, they don’t have the same level of flexibility when it comes to receiving and returning purchases when or where they want. This often leads to disruption in their lives, such as being plagued by the dreaded depot queue to collect an item due to a missed delivery or having to skip a day of work to receive a parcel
But there is a way to streamline this process. Automated parcel lockers offer a way for retailers to ensure that they provide shoppers with a liberating and hassle-free delivery experience. As well as providing the assurance that a parcel will be delivered in their chosen locker at the first attempt, automated lockers also offer customers 24/7 access and the knowledge that the parcel will only take a few seconds to collect. This ultimately creates a delivery experience that fits around their day with zero disruption.
If one thing’s clear, it’s that retailers can no longer afford to rely on just their products to garner the attention of millennials. Retailers must offer convenient delivery options that fulfils the desire for convenience and speed. By doing so, retailers can begin to provide guarantees that their purchase is ready and waiting for them, with no obstacles and no needless interactions.
Automated parcel lockers provide an alternative way for retailers to serve the millennial generation, increasing levels of customer satisfaction and brand loyalty – a win, win for the retailer and the consumer alike.
By Olivier Binet, managing director at InPost.