26th April 2016
Today, a large part of purchases are multi-channel, mainly due to the fact that many consumers do their research online followed by visiting a store for the actual purchase. Only 6-7% of purchases are done completely online. Why is that?
When asked about the main drive for shopping, online consumers state comfort as the main reason. So why aren’t more purchases done over the Internet? Most likely, an important reason is that the shipment process is not comfortable enough in the minds of consumers. Companies that understand consumer driven logistics and adapt their supply chain are therefore future winners.
Choices and availability
Consumers want certain goods delivered to a shop or drop point, some goods directly in their mailbox and other goods delivered to their door step at a precise time. For online purchases, the shipment options must be clearly stated when checking out from the web shop. Freedom when it comes to choosing the place and time of delivery builds expectations in the mind of the consumer and sets the ambition level that the shipment should meet.
When the consumer is given the option to choose delivery method, knows what shipment he or she has ordered, knows when the shipment arrives and is given the ability to control the delivery even after check out, consumer driven logistics is working and has the potential to build an even stronger relationship between consumer and vendor.
Purchasing experience and control
However, it is not only freedom of choice in terms of delivery method that is important to consumers. Equally important, if not more so, is what I call information logistics, as weird as that may sound. That is when, where and how we communicate with the receiver after an order has been placed; from order confirmation to return policies. The communication before, during and after delivery plays a major role in the purchasing experience.
This can be summarized in 5 tips:
1. Offer freedom of choice
Having only one delivery method makes consumers feel trapped. Psychologically, being given at least two delivery options, such as standard or express, is a demand from today’s consumers.
2. Speak the language of the receiver
Do not simply display the carriers’ product name in the checkout process. Make the options understandable to the customer and think about how to best explain to them what you mean.
3. Have a simple return policy
Online stores have vastly different rules for returns and consumers are often unsure of what rules apply. Simplify and clarify the process or face the risk of consumers cancelling their purchases.
4. Effective tracking of shipments
One of the most common wishes from consumers is the possibility of tracking their parcels. Tracking has been available for a long time but now you have the possibility to package the tracking in a more attractive manner; for instance by having an app that consumers download to their smartphones. This makes it easier and more fun to track your parcel.
5. Take the customer perspective
It may have been a clichÃ© that you should always look at things from the customer’s point of view, but now it is a fact. Customers have more and more to say about your business and can easily replace one supplier for another if you don’t deliver on your promises. Therefore, it is important to go the extra mile and truly make an effort to understand what can improve the customer experience during the delivery.Text by: Arne B Andersson, Senior Advisor PostNord
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