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When logistics meets customer expectations


by Miguel Saldivar
Managing Director, Retail

Retailers continue to discover and implement innovative ways to maximize productivity and profitability and increase their market shares. Logistical astuteness, brand uniqueness, diversification, and aggressive marketing are essential areas that give a business a competitive advantage, however logistics is particularly vital and challenging to pull off.

The adage, "The customer is always right,” doesn't make things any easier, as a demanding set of consumers can rain logistical nightmares on the business delivery system if proper logistics measures aren’t in place.

Recent research by MetaPack conducted on 3,577 consumers in the USA, UK, Spain, France, Italy, and Germany provided a clear picture of consumers’ expectations of delivery and order fulfilments. According to the study:

  • 54% of respondents say available delivery options define where they shop.
  • 54% of respondents expect less than a one-hour delivery within their metro area.
  • 39% of respondents would never shop again at a store that fails to meet delivery expectations.
  • 43% of respondents would use social media platforms to name and shame businesses that fail to meet delivery expectations.

In a study by McKinsey and Company, 90% of online shoppers in the US expect free shipping for orders set to arrive in two to three business days. In a different study on the retail customer experience, 29% of customers were not happy with the delivery windows offered by retailers and would prefer them to be speedier and more convenient.  

One reason for those type of survey responses could be that retailers are overhauling their fulfilment networks due to so many other investment options to meet shifting customer demands. According to John Barbee, a partner with McKinsey and Company, many companies strive for a speedy fulfilment process, but customer demands suggest investments in a more transparent fulfilment process may also be worthwhile.

According to Bringg, high-octane customer expectations coupled with other retailer challenges—61% of retailers are challenged by lack of visibility once orders are out for delivery—provide sufficient evidence and impetus for proper implementation of a robust logistical support system.

The most robust retail operations of today know that data must flow through the delivery ecosystem so that every order can do the same. With a centralized platform that leverages APIs and intelligent algorithms, all data relevant to the logistics operation is in one place for retailers to respond to customer needs, scale with demand, control costs, and put the right tools in front of logistics operators and executives.

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