Author: Katie Kinraid, General Manager, APAC, BluJay Solutions
At a time when customers are expecting fast, premium fulfillment at little, to no, extra cost, supply chains are under pressure to use advancements in technology in a way that allows them to enhance efficiency and transform the customer experience.
Customer behaviours and expectations are evolving, constantly. We already know that customers like their communications individually tailored to them, so why not their delivery too? Knowing what customers like and giving them choice and control over the process can be the difference between a one-off, happy customer and a returning, highly-satisfied one. With advancements in retail and supply chain, companies are able to not only meet these expectations, but exceed them.
In today’s economy, online retailers are expected to know what a customer wants and be able to get it them when they want it. Recent innovations, such as anticipatory shipping, have taken this idea a step further. Anticipatory shipping involves retailers tracking the movement of a customer’s curser on the screen, monitoring what is added to the cart and what products they hover over. An algorithm is then used to determine how likely the customer is to buy.
Based on this percentage, the product will then be dispatched to a nearby distribution warehouse until the time of purchase. Once the purchase is made, the delivery is now a matter of hours away instead of days or weeks. This enables companies to be one step ahead of their customers and excel when it comes to meeting customer demands for timeliness and efficiency.
Customers value choice and a sense of control when it comes to the delivery of their goods. As such, it is important for those involved in the supply chain to remain transparent and informative throughout the delivery process. Customers like to know where their package is, when it’s going to arrive and where it will be delivered, especially in the event that they are not home to receive it.
All businesses should strive to ensure customers are satisfied with the delivery experience. Choice and control play a large role here, as customers prefer to be the ones selecting their day and time of delivery. In fact, in most cases where customers have reported dissatisfaction, it has been due to a late or untimely delivery. This is an issue that can be avoided by implementing open communication with the customer and putting them in control of their delivery date and time.
Marketplaces such as Deliveroo and Uber do this really well. Both of these applications use GPS to allow customers to track where their food or driver is and the estimated time of arrival. No doubt, this type of supply chain has been instrumental in the success of Deliveroo and Uber, which have both quickly climbed to the top of their respective industries.
By investing in the right supply chain partners that understand the impact of innovation paired with customer experience, organisations can be assured that their products are being delivered on promised timelines and are appropriately represented at the doorstep, making for an overall positive experience. When innovation meets customer demand like this, competitive advantage can be obtained.
By adapting to the changes, both in the technological sphere and in consumer behaviour, supply chains are able to find and execute new opportunities that will in turn drive future success.
BluJay Solutions delivers supply chain software and services to the world’s most progressive retailers, distributors, freight forwarders, manufacturers, and logistics service providers. To find out more about BluJay Solutions, please visit www.blujaysolutions.com