The retail landscape has been completely disrupted by the ecommerce boom. Retailers now need to rethink and redefine the relationship between their brands, their stores, and their customers. The entire experience of browsing products, trying them, purchasing them and even returning them has moved to people’s computers, bedrooms and phones. This dramatic shift has created two great opportunities for retailers. First, it gives them the opportunity to create new and better experiences with which they can delight a broader customer base – making the most of the reach, speed, and impact that digital platforms bring to the retail landscape. And second, it provides them with unprecedented visibility and control over their supply chain. This enables retailers to orchestrate their entire logistical infrastructure with a customer-centric approach, where the entire operation is geared towards providing shoppers with exceptional customized experiences.
The “Amazon effect” has put escalating pressure on retailers of all segments and sizes to provide impeccable customer service—especially in the area of delivery. Fast and personalized delivery experiences are crucial to customer satisfaction, and retailers who want to remain competitive in the coming years must immediately step up to the plate and invest the time and money required to optimize their delivery operations. These are three mandatories for any company ready to take on the challenge:
1. Embrace Technology:
There’s a lot of room to make the supply chain more agile and efficient – from the first mile to the last mile and everywhere in between. Retailers need to strategically orchestrate their increasingly complex logistics matrix, optimizing the use of all possible delivery channels depending on their customers’ location, required level of service, price, etc. Using the right platforms and tools to efficiently align and manage the entire operational jigsaw has become a business imperative, especially as the last mile has moved to center stage in the overall customer experience.
2. Focus on Visibility:
Visibility will become mandatory as retailers move towards a supply chain which is fully transparent and trackable in real-time. It will help companies become more efficient by knowing the precise status of each order, driver and customer. In addition, it will empower customers since they are constantly aware of the status of their purchase, and have the ability to directly interact with their driver or retailer if need be.
3. Data-driven Efficiency:
Retailers need to embrace big data to make sense of their supply chain, and to truly understand their customers. From the millions of data points and variables in any supply chain they can extract the knowledge required to determine business strategies and to support decision-making processes. There is priceless data collected at various customer touch points, such as the feedback on the delivery and driver ratings, which will help organisations become better trading partners to their customers and suppliers.
Extract from Retail Week’s interview with Raanan Cohen. You can read the full interview here.