More than ever, the infrastructure of retail is shifting and changing, as technology increases, businesses compete for the top spot. As a result, we are now a generation that want our product with a click of a button, and at our doorstep the next instant.
With most of the UK’s working population are now ages 20-35, we have become use to a world that promotes a lifestyle of “shopping at your fingertips” – however, this has caused such a rapid growth in global ecommerce that the logistics and retailing industries are struggling to keep up with demand.
Indeed, reports state that in the UK alone, Online retail sales in the UK topped £133 billion in 2016, and as a result, the future of retail seems to hinge on how efficiently and effectively business and couriers can operate.
Matthew Robertson, Co-CEO of NetDespatch states that:
“At this year’s Internet Retailing Expo where I was fortunate enough to rub shoulders with some of the industry’s most creative and innovative minds, there were a number of keynotes around how SME organisations can grow their online business and master the ‘culture of click and expect’. As an organisation that works with both blue chip ecommerce partners and challenger brand SMBs we feel well placed to help organisations address the challenges often associated with selling online”.
The problem that plagues the ecommerce industry today is its highly fragmented nature. Many of the physical shop retailers that had established themselves decades ago have had to make the jump to the world of ecommerce in order to keep up with growing competition in the last 10 years. The problem is however that these businesses often employ, as Robertson states “legacy systems involving multiple partners and suppliers”, meaning that their stock may not be managed as effectively as it could and their data may not be completely clean. This leads ultimately translates to the courier, as fulfilment can often be difficult to complete seamlessly due to the multitude of gaps and inconsistencies in the systems that retailers and suppliers operate.
Robertson comments on this, stating that: “In ecommerce, we’re all looking to turn our buyers into repeat buyers. Our pre-eminent goal is to create a seamless and contextual shopping experiences effortlessly across all channels. The first order someone places with you is about testing you out. Customers want to see if they can trust you – so you really must do a good job with the first online order”.
“That means you must deliver on your promise. The goods must be delivered in one piece, on time, with all the right things in the parcel, and that’s just the minimum required. If things go wrong you need to be awesome at resolving the issue, which is also a great opportunity to build trust. If you really want to get the next order you then need to do a bit more. Put a clear call to action into that parcel to ask for the next order, and wow the customer as well”.
As consumer demands increase, it really is a necessity that the businesses supplying the ecommerce machine help to ensure a well-oiled works process, translating down into those that deliver the products, as confusion, or messy business practice makes the job so much harder for those that deliver the products, and can ultimately lead to unhappy customers making sure that they steer clear of your brand in the future.