With the Christmas rush in full flow, the pressure is on for retailers to provide their customers with a platinum service.
As a result of the ecommerce explosion over the last decade, consumers’ shopping habits and expectations have changed dramatically. From weekend deliveries, more precise delivery options, to same day — the logistics world is evolving at a rapid pace.
So, where do we go from here?
As consumers face increasing demands on their time from both their work and social lives, convenience when shopping is essential. Rising expectations combined with a fiercely competitive retail landscape mean the once standard day-long delivery window is simply no longer enough.
Retailers are under pressure to ensure all aspects of the shopping journey — from browsing and buying through to delivery and returns — have their customers at the core.
As the way people shop changes, so do consumer expectations — with full oversight and input into how, when and where their deliveries will arrive often seen as a must-have in the online shopping journey. Today businesses need to make sure they’re fitting deliveries around their customers’ busy schedules to make life easier for them and gain that sought-after competitive edge.
It makes sense then that evening delivery is the latest frontier in meeting this demand as they allow for ultimate convenience — letting shoppers balance deliveries around their busy lives.
Same day delivery and next day delivery certainly still have their place, but for many, particularly in the retail space, evening deliveries are one more way to offer an enhanced customer experience.
Evening deliveries not only free up the time of those who represent the nation’s unofficial ‘final metre’ delivery network, heavily overburdened with the abundance of deliveries they receive on behalf of colleagues, but they also rule out the dreaded journey home on public transport with deliveries in tow.
There’s no doubt that evening deliveries provide next level convenience to customers. As such, with the world of ecommerce and parcel delivery evolving at breakneck speed, businesses must re-evaluate their supply chain if they want to remain competitive and stay ahead of the game.
Communication is key for the end-to-end consumer experience to work successfully. After all, the final leg of the journey is now more significant than ever when it comes to ensuring a smooth delivery. And sometimes, especially for pure play retailers, the delivery part of the experience is the only face-to-face interaction a shopper has with a brand. Communication will help boost satisfaction to the next level — resulting in increased customer loyalty and even an uplift in business revenue and growth.
Ultimately, retailers can no longer simply rely on traditional delivery options if they want to remain competitive, but instead must listen to their customers to make sure they understand their wants and needs. In an already tough environment, businesses should continue to look for every opportunity to differentiate themselves, this is what will set brands apart in the battle for customer loyalty.
The message from consumers is clear; fit around my diary, or not at all — it’s now up to retailers to deliver.
Darren Taylor, business solutions director, CitySprint