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Retail

Customer experience

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17 May 2022

Top tips to improve customer delivery experience

The past five years have proven to be transformational for the retail sector, as retailers were forced to adapt to changes in customer behavior, including shifts in channel preferences across the consumer journey, as well as rising expectations around speed and convenience.  
 
Today, 46% of global consumers expect to receive their deliveries within two to three days, whilst 30% of customers want their order delivered within 24 hours (Statista).  
 
To stay ahead of the competition, retailers are looking for ways to optimize their supply chains and accelerate fulfilment operations. Below, we share our top tips to help you improve your customer’s delivery experience.  
 
Understand that fast delivery is key. Consumer expectations around delivery speed can vary by retail segment, product or location. For example, beauty consumers expect a delivery in less than one day, while fashion consumers look to receive their item in less than two days (McKinsey). Retailers can create a greater impact using a segmented approach to prioritize fast deliveries where they are really needed. To do so, they can run A/B speed tests offering targeted speed promises to different customer groups, enabling them to determine which customers and which items have the highest expectations around speedy delivery and create the most impactful positive customer experience.  
 
Make returns easy. Returns are also a crucial part of a positive customer purchase journey. Most consumers expect brands to offer free returns and an adequate timeframe to evaluate their purchase - typically 30 days or longer (McKinsey). But returns can be expensive for retailers, mainly due to the costs of reverse logistics, making it key for retailers to provide accurate product descriptions, including offering product reviews and feedback that can help customers make more informed purchasing decisions.  

Adopt automation technology and robotics. The implementation of robotics and automated systems within distribution centers, including the use of “co-botic” solutions (robots that collaborate with humans), can enhance the speed and accuracy of omnichannel order fulfilment processes. These technologies such as FIR/ST, THG Ingenuity’s warehouse automation solution, can reduce warehouse footprint while maximizing the inventory capacity and efficiency to ship more stock. This enables retailers to process more orders while maintaining inventory availability for customer orders.  

Leverage inventory analytics. As retailers expand their fulfilment networks to support commerce across new channels and reach new audiences and markets, inventory management has become a more complex task. Traditional inventory systems fail to identify the diversity in the breadth and depth of inventory, and many retailers have started to realize the shortfall of their current systems. Bespoke analytics and digitally focused inventory tools can help to optimize inventory management to prevent inventory shortages overselling and shrinkage. This means retailers can ensure they have the right inventory at the right time to avoid shipping delays, again creating a positive customer experience. 

THG Ingenuity's warehouse automated solution

Similarly, retailers can invest in a range of technologies, including order management systems and customer relationship management (CRM) systems, to automate the shipping and tracking processes while ensuring that customer data is managed and stored compliantly. This can help brands to avoid shipping errors, save time and costs and ultimately improve the customer experience. 

Black and white image of a MyProtein box on conveyor belt

Beyond delivery speed: customer preferences on delivery methods 
 
-61% of global consumers prefer home delivery, either to their door or in their mailbox (Statista).  

-42% of global consumers would like to reduce the cost of delivery and 41% of them want more clarity on the delivery time (Statista).  

-58% of customers expect flexible shipping options like buy online pick up in store (BOPIS) (CX Index).  

-38% of consumers opt for curbside pickup for online purchases to avoid shipping costs (RetailCustomerExperience.com). 
 
-Consumers increasingly demand last-mile delivery, as they consider it faster and more sustainable (McKinsey). 

-80% of consumers want the ability to track their order, and they expect clear and consistent communications throughout the delivery and tracking process (SmallBusinessTrends).  

The evidence is clear: customers expect a fast, flexible, and transparent delivery experience. Although it can be costly for retailers to ensure quick delivery, a combination of strategies including inventory analytics and automation technologies can significantly lower the impact on their budget. By offering multiple delivery methods, adequate return policies and optimized tracking systems, retailers can create a superior experience that will keep their customers coming back for more.  
 
 
 
Are you looking to enhance your fulfilment and operation strategy? THG Ingenuity’s operational capabilities can help your brand effectively deliver products at speed worldwide. Get in touch today to learn more about how THG Ingenuity can help you to optimize your delivery strategy. 

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