Ecommerce is evolving, and so is the retail supply chain. Long gone are the days of supply chain management being a back-of-house operation. Information gaps lead to uncertainty and leave customers guessing. Today, customers want to be kept in the loop on where their orders are and what’s happening behind the scenes.
That’s why now, more than ever, brands need to think about Delivery Experience Management (DEM) as part of the omnichannel ecosystem and how it ties in with the customer experience after an online order is placed.
In this post, we’ll dive into how companies can manage customer expectations with transparency and proactivity in a complex omnichannel environment.
The Rise of Omnichannel Ecosystem
Retail is evolving, and customers are now used to multiple points of sale. In fact, Google Research even estimates that 98% of Americans now switch devices at least once throughout the day. And marketing channels, once passive, now require active management to create a satisfactory customer experience.
Today, shoppers interact with brands across multiple touchpoints and separate contexts, which includes both online and offline experiences. This comprises the omnichannel experience.
The omnichannel view encompasses the entire customer journey and goes beyond the sales and conversion process, helping businesses view the entire customer journey. This is helpful, as it gives businesses the ability to be more responsive to the demands of today’s customer–especially considering that the majority of customers (64%) now expect to receive “real-time assistance” regardless of the customer service channel they’re using. If done well, omnichannel consumers who shop through four or more channels spend 9% more than those who use only one, according to Magento and Harvard Business Review.
When the omnichannel approach suits consumers better
- Companies with better omnichannel engagement retain an average of 89% of their customers vs. only 33% for companies with weaker engagement.
- Customers report that they want more engagement, and their business habits support this view as well.
This is why active DEM is so important within the omnichannel ecosystem. Businesses need to develop customer-facing strategies that build trust and win loyalty consistently.
Brands that overlook this element of their core business risk losing customers to companies like Amazon–and any other company retaining a high percentage of its customers thanks to its mastery over logistics and delivery experience.
The Role of Delivery Experience Management in Customer Expectations (CX)
Understanding the challenge of customer expectations is only one piece of the puzzle. To turn customer experience (CX) into a competitive differentiator for your brand, you’ll have to first evaluate how Delivery Experience Management (DEM) impacts your company’s overall customer experience.
Consider a customer’s limited experience with a company’s internal logistics: They place an order and expect that order to show up on time. They’re not concerned with the supply chain needed to facilitate that transaction; they want to know where their package is, and they want it quickly.
Even the most streamlined delivery infrastructure can’t hope to retain a customer who doesn’t receive what they expected.
We can see this bear out in the statistics:
- We know that 84% of shoppers won’t return to a brand that misses their delivery.
- 98% say that delivery impacts their brand loyalty–especially true for a customer trying out your company’s delivery experience for the first time.
But the delivery experience isn’t just limited to punctuality. Customers also need robust options.
- 98% of shoppers expect to be able to self-serve for their shipping options, including the management of delivery appointments and address changes.
Nor is the delivery experience limited to what the customer sees. Transportation costs sunk into last mile delivery can make up 8% of annual turnover, which in turn eats into your margins. With better DEM, you can optimize the business experience as well as the CX.
Get Control of Delivery from Cart to Door
With Delivery Experience Management, you’ll have more freedom to engage with every step in the process, and make sure that the customer journey is seamless from cart to door. This gives you the ability to optimize, address customer concerns, and continually tweak your system to provide the best possible delivery results. You’ll be able to leverage:
- Visibility: Real-time data of order feeds and unified shipping data help you make sense of what’s happening with shipping exceptions, in real-time.
- Insights: It’s not enough to observe data–you should analyze it for the insights it might contain. That includes delivery trend analysis and the analysis of a particular carrier’s performance.
- Action: Is the consumer notified when something changes? Can a consumer perform self-service to adjust their delivery needs? How easy is it to return a product, and if so, will that impact whether a customer is likely to buy from you in the future?
No matter how good your tracking system might be or how smooth the ordering process is, customers ultimately care most about when and how their package arrives. If it’s late or arrives damaged, the customer will remember that negative delivery experience. However, you can still add efficiency to every step of the process by following a few additional best practices.
- Capitalizing on actionable insights. If you can uncover data-driven insights, you’ll find a number of opportunities for systemic improvement, whether that comes through network design or even managing customer expectations.
- Bringing efficiency to transportation. More visibility into your last mile network will help you optimize cost to serve. OTIF delivery should no longer be a priority that competes with cost. By utilizing actionable insights and implementing changes, you can boost both efficiency and the bottom line.
- Increased customer satisfaction. Customers place a premium on the Delivery Experience. When you provide a satisfying delivery, you’ll give your customers fewer reasons to complain, you’ll generate higher NPS scores, and you’ll end up with increased LTV.
When Delivery Fails, Your Omnichannel Experience Fails
As eCommerce continues to evolve at a rapid pace, and customer demands continue to rise, it’s more important than ever to make sure that consumers have a positive experience with your brand. From click-to-ship, customers to stay up to date on delivery information with branded tracking pages, thus reducing WISMO calls for internal teams. By giving customer support teams the ability to see delivery issues as they arise, generate workflows around them, and collaborate with carriers, issues can be resolved as much as four times faster — before the customer experience is impacted.
Without losing efficiency, it’s an easy way for those aiming to scale their delivery systems to ensure that they’re taking responsibility of delivery from cart to door. Using visibility, insights, and the ability to take action, they can make meaningful changes to impact a critical moment of customer experience and customer loyalty.