Our recent research project about online shopping habits brought to light some of the challenges that shoppers were encountering and one of the areas with the biggest issues was deliveries.
During the early period of lockdown in 2020 customers in the UK were willing to give some slack to companies with regards to deliveries, knowing that these organisations were under pressure and were having to adapt and change very quickly, whilst trying to maintain service levels as demand levels soared. Customers understood the situation and empathised with those brands. Whilst not all brands struggled many did and some of the cracks in cost-driven delivery models widened and did not stand up to the heightened pressure they were under.
Over time customer expectations of perfect service have returned, the empathy has been replaced with a sense that plenty of time has been given for brands to put this vital service properly in place and to meet the promises made around different delivery options. However, customers were reporting that they were still encountering difficulties and having very poor experiences with deliveries.
It is understandable that the economics for retailers are challenging at the moment, but the
temptation to drive cost out of the delivery supply chain, especially when using a third-party to deliver is best avoided if the experience is compromised. Customers’ expectations are being set by those organisations such as Amazon who offer same day or next day delivery on a wide range of items as well as some free delivery options. It is difficult to compete with large companies on price or speed of delivery, but smaller businesses can compete by ensuring that the whole, holistic customer experience, including the delivery, is exceptional and feels valuable to your customers.
The delivery experience is even more important to customers than it was before. It is critical and is often the final experience that retailers are leaving with their customers and there is rarely any separation of the third-party brand and the retailers’ brand if it is not successful. To customers in that moment, they are one and the same and they hold the retailer accountable for ensuring that the experience matches their expectations. If there are issues, the key is clear, accurate and timely communication to ensure that customers know where they stand.
Invest in the quality of the delivery experience, don’t over promise and under deliver
Don’t fall down at the final hurdle, the temptation to drive cost savings from deliveries is a dangerous game, this is the vital stage of a successful experience and even if you are using a third-party delivery company, customers will rate your brand based upon their performance and the communications that they receive from that company.
To read more about the findings from our online shopping research download the full report for free here
If Intelligent Purpose can help you to listen to and understand your customers and create initiatives to improve customer experiences, please contact Damian Miller firstname.lastname@example.org