Centiro has warned that retailers' risk damaging customer relationships if they continue to operate 'best-effort' delivery networks.
With the huge growth of online retail and consumers demanding greater speed and convenience, retailers' delivery capabilities are coming under increasing strain. They must now contend with shipping a wider variety of goods to an infinite number of locations, all of which is being dictated by customer preference. Those retailers associated with a poor delivery experience risk long-term damage to their brand, as consumers will simply shop elsewhere.
"It's clear that many retailers haven't optimised their delivery networks to meet the challenges presented by omni-channel retail," said Niklas Hedin, CEO of Centiro. "Black Friday was a stark example of retailers struggling to meet customer delivery promises. Those retailers who are unable to scale their operation and meet customers' delivery requirements risk damaging sales and customer loyalty. Through being able to onboard additional carriers more quickly, and having greater visibility into delivery networks, retailers will be able to better tailor delivery services to customer needs so they can get deliveries to where the customer wants, when they want it."
Managing customer delivery promises with accurate lead times is now essential to meet the relentless demands of omni-channel retail all year round. Retailers need to be able to onboard and easily mix and match new carriers quickly to meet the requirements of customers. At the same time, they need to still provide a consistent user experience, both locally and internationally. Many retailers are currently suffering from having a lack of visibility into their delivery networks, meaning they are unable to make precise delivery promises to customers.
"Once new carriers are onboarded, retailers shouldn't just think that will automatically solve their delivery woes. Today's consumer is also demanding a seamless brand interaction, so for those retailers using multiple carriers there is often a disconnect between the shopping and delivery experience. For retailers looking to regain control of their delivery networks, automating the management of multiple carriers while providing customers with delivery information under their own branding will be a pre-requisite," added Hedin.