Consumer-driven logistics 4 of 6: driving forces and challenges

Part 4 of 6
Consumers, especially in more mature e-commerce markets, are making ever-clearer demands that they themselves should be able to have influence over how their orders are delivered. Satisfying consumers’ wishes is becoming a business-critical issue for e-tailers. “Customer obsession” is an expression you often hear today, and the winners will be those companies that best meet the consumers’ demands.

communicate with your customerOne of the most critical challenges today lies in the fact that the consumer has power throughout the purchasing sequence right up until delivery, but the power often ends there. Many sellers have not given the consumer the opportunity to control the delivery. When consumers do get the option of influencing delivery by selecting a delivery method and choosing where, when and how delivery will take place – and perhaps can adjust delivery even after check-out – then the logistics are working and can contribute to an even stronger relationship between the buyer and seller.

We have put together six recommendations that can help form the view of how consumer-driven logistics should be developed in order to strengthen the consumer’s buying experience. The fourth follows below.

Recommendation 4 – be flexible and communicate with the customer

The supplier should ensure that the end-customer is given enough information to understand what is needed to receive the delivery. Based on the choice that the customer made, it must, for example, be clear whether the customer needs to be at home a particular time, or if identification is needed to receive the delivery.

Consumers are less and less prepared to simply adapt to the carrier. They want their specific needs to be met and they want to be in full control, in the event that the delivery has to be changed. This makes it vital that the retailer, together with the carrier, can offer a selection of delivery options and clear, reliable communication.

Once a delivery is on the way, many consumers also want to be able to track where the product is. Nowadays, this is part of the shopping experience. There is much to be gained by discovering the customer’s delivery preferences as early as possible in the relationship between the consumer and the retailer. How does he or she want to be contacted and notified – by e-mail, text message or in the mailbox? Make it as simple as possible for the consumer to choose an option here.

Olof Källgren, Market Information Manager, Direct Link

This is the fourth recommendation, out of six, that can help form the view of how consumer-driven logistics should be developed in order to strengthen the consumer’s buying experience. Part 1 was about clear and simple delivery options , part 2 recommended offering a choice of delivery options, and part 3 advocated giving customers a choice of delivery points.

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