Boosting shipping efficiency has become a key business imperative in retail since Amazon redefined consumer expectations about delivery times and guarantees. Achieving greater efficiency requires a comprehensive approach that includes examining a wide array of strategies and technologies to find the specific combination that fits your needs.
Retailers also need to examine how they can merge new solutions with existing infrastructure — such as by using brick-and-mortar stores as a delivery/fulfillment network, or expanding the information provided in confirmation emails to reduce returns and build loyalty. The best modern shipping strategies take a multi-faceted approach that unifies multiple aspects of the business to drive efficiency.
Some of the potential benefits of this unified approach to shipping include:
- Overcoming physical limitations: All the technology in the world can’t move existing fulfillment centers closer to shoppers, but AI can help retailers handle this challenge in other ways;
- Automating the journey: Automation ultimately presents a question of cost versus reward, and retailers need to determine which options will provide the best ROI;
- Improving post-purchase transparency: Retailers can go beyond simple shipping confirmations to build loyalty with information about orders, care instructions and other relevant material.