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

Part 6 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 purchased goods are delivered. Satisfying consumers’ preferences 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.

One 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 to choose between delivery options, knowing what delivery has been bought, and understanding where, when and how delivery will take place – and having the ability to make delivery changes also after check-out – then the logistics are working and can contribute to an even stronger relationship between the consumer and the 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 consumers’ buying experiences. Number six follows below.

Recommendation 6 – Provide smart return solutions

It is vital that the supplier can handle returns efficiently and flexibly. This will keep customers coming back.

Several research reports show that an easy way to arrange returns is a very important feature when consumers are asked to rank different parts of the online purchase journey. Suppliers should offer simple solutions for returns – for example, easy access to return points where the item can be handed in, instructions about how returns should be handled, and information about how crediting takes place. Additionally, this should be clearly explained early in the purchasing process.

By offering clearly defined times for repayments, customers are given peace of mind and their threshold for buying is lowered.

Olof Källgren, Market Information Manager, Direct Link

This is the last 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. Previous articles can be found through our site search.

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