The Future of Delivery: A Challenge for Retailers

In a world with such abundance in terms of choice for shops, it is important to get it right. Indeed, when retailers get it wrong, consumers switch off. 90% of consumers have unsubscribed from retailers’ messages in the last year. And delivery fulfillment is all about personalised, humanist touches. According to Katie McQuaid, director of Fulfilment by Amazon, customers want a delivery experience that is just like popping to the shop next door. That can get particularly complicated for online retailers that have no physical contact whatsoever with their customers.

And of course, it is about keeping up with new technologies and innovations as well. For Gavin Clark, commercial director at Snapfulfil, the future of warehouse management stands in innovating rather than investing. Indeed, he mentions new techniques using robotics and setting up ‘picking pods’ in warehouses as one of the best innovations lately. So there is a lot to process for retailers to stay at the top of the game.

Delivery Fulfillment: The Innovation Challenge

But for Amazon, innovation does not stop at the Prime membership. The focus is no longer to sell the products that it stocks. Indeed, 50% of global sales on Amazon are now made by the third-party sellers that use its marketplace. ‘Fulfilment by Amazon allows us to hold stock across the globe for the fast delivery that customers require. We’re able to provide the service not only for customers but also for the retailers that rely on us.’ Katie McQuaid says. Always looking for innovation and improvement, Amazon has launched its grocery delivery service (AmazonFresh) and is even looking to move towards a 30 minutes delivery option.

With next day, timed, evening and week-end deliveries becoming standard amongst leading retailers, it is all about the presentation to the shopper and the new partnerships to expand the options. For shoppers, any information about delivery options has to stand out and to be easy to read. But returns are also a big deal. 54% of shoppers actually read the returns policy before deciding where to buy. And they tend to choose the ones that provide free returns. And while home delivery still dominates, it is becoming more and more important for retailers to provide a collection option.


A Change for Delivery?

In such a fast-paced world, communication is key for retailers and their customers. Indeed, as customer service centres know well, WISMO (Where is My Order) queries tend to be the most common reason for people to reach customer service. That is why informative e-mails are so important and should also always mention the retailer’s name. For customers, anonymous e-mails can be really confusing and should not be part of the delivery process.

For Jan Godsell, professor of operations and supply chain strategy at WMG, University of Warwick, shoppers community-rooted concerns about the environment, their interest in sharing goods and their wish for convenience and relevance may change the way they take delivery in the future. ‘As we move to get a better balance with the environment, perhaps we’ll move back to having a single, consolidated delivery in my area every Monday, for example’, she says. She also suggests that personalisation could lead to more personalised relationships with brands. For instance, consumers could be trading their own personal data in order to make deals that suit them.

If you are looking for great Delivery Fulfillment solutions, contact us. At Fulfillment Logistics, we always make sure to go the extra mile for our clients.

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