Delivery Experience Management Is Retail’s Last Mile Advantage

If you’ve not been introduced to Delivery Experience Management (DEM), let me give you the short story. DEM is the art of proactively ensuring that your customers get their orders how and when they expect, taking intelligent action to correct issues along the way and continuously communicating to uphold brand promises.  Successful DEM results in happier customers, actionable insights and more efficient transportation, netting top line growth while managing costs (read more here).

Competition Heats Up in the Last Mile

It’s no secret that Amazon is turning the last mile into a serious battleground.

It seems like only 10 years ago consumers were thrilled to push a button and have their merchandise show up a week later – what a convenience! Then came two-day shipping. Then it became free. Then same-day. Now one to two-hour deliveries are common for certain items in major metro areas. Consumers have gotten spoiled – but retailers cannot simply ignore it.

I’ll just come out and say it. Amazon’s delivery may often be cheap and fast, but the behemoth doesn’t always meet expectations for quality or premium personal touches. When was the last time you could find a human to talk to? How often do you seek out advice from Amazon experts about which running shoe to buy?

That means retailers still have a number of differentiators to create eCommerce engagement and amazing last mile experiences. Some categories don’t require fast and free delivery. When it comes to high value items, such as jewelry or appliances, consumers want great advice and often opt for safe and secure. When it comes to consumables, they are just fine with free and predictable. What they really want is delivery that is tailored to their unique situations and needs.  This means self-service options for mode and scheduling, great visibility into where and how a delivery will arrive and friendly, competent, rapid resolution if and when an issue occurs.

Tailored delivery experiences need not break the bank — brands shouldn’t have to rely on increasing customer acquisition costs (CAC) just to compete. Brands that are using Delivery Experience Management to orchestrate positive delivery outcomes are enjoying significant upside ranging from cost containment to customer retention and revenue uplift.

Delivery Experience Management In Action

We’re always thrilled when we learn about customers who use delivery experience management in exciting ways to make their customers happier. Sharing their lessons with you is one way we can contribute to continuous improvement for all retail supply chain leaders.

Grove Collaborative started working with Convey in May of 2018, and immediately used it to connect with customers and scale shipping volume. By creating a dedicated exception resolution team, they prevented customer complaints by addressing the most common causes of delivery issues. They also structured workflows to quickly resolve issues such as Incorrect Addresses and Damaged Shipments, saving significant cost for each proactive intervention.

Because of this, Grove’s team of just 70 people have been able to solve over 110,000 points of contact in a single month, and Grove found that their NPS scores increased by 3 points with customers whose shipments had been proactively handled (read more).

A customer-obsessed furniture company uses Convey’s Insights to pinpoint issues that could negatively affect its delivery experience. With access to metrics such as transit-time, customer feedback, and delivery performance, the company now uses Convey’s data to hold its carrier team accountable for better experiences. As a result, the company increased its on-time performance by 4.6% and reduced WISMO (Where Is My Order) calls.

Uncommon Goods uses DEM to meet their customer promises during major holidays. As the company gets an influx of volume and exceptions, they use Convey to proactively intercept damaged and delayed shipments, expediting new packages to their customers. This ensures retention in the time-sensitive gifting business.

One leading home improvement customer used DEM to scale its exception management process. It gave its carriers and Customer Service team access to use Convey to minimize in-transit issues, making exception resolution through email a thing of the past. Multi-party, real-time collaboration allowed workflows on both sides to be streamlined — the customer was able to resolve cases 4X faster and create a better delivery experience for its customers.

Brands that are using Delivery Experience Management to orchestrate positive delivery outcomes are enjoying significant upside ranging from cost containment to customer retention and revenue uplift.

Not only does DEM create happier customers, but it can also unearth inefficiencies that can make an impact on the bottom line.

Why DEM Is a Last Mile Competitive Advantage

Gartner has dubbed customer experience today’s competitive battleground and last-mile delivery is often the final touchpoint in that all-important customer experience. The brands I described above have already figured this out and are enjoying the fruits of their DEM labor.

But, it’s early days for proactively managing deliveries. Many brands we talk to about DEM still believe that ‘It’s too hard to be proactive when we have millions of shipments,’ or ‘My carriers would never collaborate on this with us, plus we don’t have the resources.’ This organizational inertia is exactly the type of attitude that caused many a vaunted retail brand to stumble – only to find itself falling behind more agile firms that recognized how investing in customer experience pays itself back tenfold.

As retail continues to mature and more brands understand the value of DEM, those who start now will be ahead of the game. Creating higher customer lifetime value (CLTV) starts with efficiently building organizational capability to access shipping-related data-driven insights across your teams. From there, if you can automate actions that can improve delivery outcomes, you will indeed reduce costs while making your customers happier.

With years of experience and hundreds of brands engaging in DEM, our team at Convey would be honored to help your team start the journey to proactively managing amazing delivery experiences. 

Learn more about how Delivery Experience Management can help your team succeed in the last mile.

Kirsten Newbold-Knipp Portrait
About the Author

Kirsten Newbold-Knipp

As Convey’s Chief Marketing Officer/VP, Kirsten focuses on marketing strategy and emboldening her team to drive results. Passionate about building successful teams from the ground-up, she has worked at companies ranging from the Ritz Carlton and Intel to Hubspot and Gartner. Kirsten is an animal lover, a wine enthusiast, and a polyglot. In her spare time, she volunteers as a Marketing Advisor to Austin Pets Alive, mentors students at MIT Sloan, and co-owns two companies. Kirsten Newbold-Knipp on LinkedIn