Convenience and control will be the dominant delivery trends next year, with time-pressed consumers more likely to spend with retailers who are able to meet these needs.
Shopping habits have been signalling this change for a long time now and, with access to rich data and analytics, retailers are increasingly aware of the critical need to provide their customers with what they want.
“Customers will want more accurate and accessible delivery tracking, with communication from the brand itself”
Consumers are harder to impress than ever before, putting retailers under even more pressure to innovate.
Customers will want much more accurate and accessible delivery tracking, with communication coming from the brand itself.
Among other things, a varied, adaptable and flexible delivery offering is going to be key. Two options at the checkout isn’t enough – consumers will expect click-and-collect, next-day and nominated-day as a standard.
Delivering on expectation
Dark stores and ship-from-store are both growing trends for the most innovative retailers.
Hyperlocal fulfilment naturally has a big appeal. And it’s very effective – just look at Farfetch’s model.
However, it can be challenging for retailers who don’t have the technology capability to execute an effective programme, for example, where a single view of stock isn’t possible.
Just using the most efficient carriers can make a big difference, though.
“Who delivers effectively to highlands and islands? Who is most effective when delivering to inner-city commercial properties? Who can most efficiently manage rural locations?”
Making intelligent allocation choices in the warehouse can mean deliveries are more reliable and therefore speedier, too.
Retailers need to be picking carriers based on questions such as: Who delivers effectively to highlands and islands? Who is most effective when delivering to inner-city commercial properties? Who can most efficiently manage rural locations?
SortedPRO has an intelligent allocation engine that does all these calculations for the retailer based on their individual business rules, so they don’t need to work this out for every parcel – the tech just does it for them.
Make the right investments
It’s simple: investment will need to be on the delivery ecosystem – which covers everything from the checkout to the warehouse to the final mile.
From making sure delivery options are reliable, convenient, efficient, personalised and flexible, to making sure the customer feels loved right up to the moment it arrives at the doorstep – brands need to completely own their parcel journey.
Andy Hill is sales director of Sorted Group