Numbers don’t lie. If you look at authentic customer experience metrics and see a certain negative trend that your business has been witnessing, you need to chalk out an action plan real fast. Simply put, for sustenance and growth, you need to systematically measure your customers’ feedback, and integrate that with your business strategy. Here it’s important to remember that any disconnect between the metrics and business performance will bring down business credibility, revenue and loss of confidence of customers as well as frontline workers.
Considering the surge in the digital retail industry during the last decade and increasing complexities in managing the supply chain, especially delivery, a smart solution is the need-of-the-hour. Such an approach is even more imperative when many retail enterprises are trying to integrate traditional and digital channels, and moving to a true omnichannel set-up. From the customers’ perspective, when are there are so many offerings on the plate, they will pick the ones that provide a fast and seamless experience besides the competitive pricing. Here we will mainly focus on the five key focus areas that e-commerce companies should always keep in mind.
5 Key Focus Areas for E-Commerce
E-commerce companies need to be more sensitive about pricing. When an increasing number of competitors selling similar products, retailing success depends more than ever on the pricing dynamics or Online Pricing Intelligence (OPI). This is the reason why the leading eTailers try to stick with a sole source provider to consolidate volume and get a high volume discount on the price. Higher volume discounts promote eTailers’ exclusivity and they are able to pass on this leverage to consumers by offering them discounted retail price. Many eTailers on the other hand, choose multiple providers to get the best pricing.
The needs of smaller and larger eTailers vary as their scale of operations varies. However, both types of eTailers need to focus on accurate retail segmentation. They can do so considering the data on year-on-year gains of the market share basis points. The companies can overhaul their digital channels identifying the ‘in-demand’ retail products that customers can easily buy using a tablet or a smartphone. Besides customer segmentation, tracking the latest customer demand is also important as retailers can get better insights and revamp their marketing strategies to improve customer loyalty.
3.Shipping Availability Indicators
Regardless of what consumers buy online, shipping options are always on their mind. A ‘2014 UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper’ report shows that consumers consider shipping options as the most important information during checkout, even more than payment methods and personalization. Several earlier surveys from other sources found the same indicative data.
When eTailers sell physical products, their shipping options (faster or cheaper) hold a competitive advantage and it’s important to draw customers’ attention to this feature as early as possible. Even when the shipping method does not stand-out, retailers still need to make sure that the options are visible to customers. The instances of cart abandonment increase when customers simply don’t know when their products will arrive. Needless to say, a lack of shipping information is a major obstacle to conversion.
Retail logistics has turned out to be one of the decisive factors for long-term eTailing or omnichannel success. Outbound logistics, for example, can boost or bring down customer satisfaction and revenues. Keeping this in mind, retailers these days are gearing up for futuristic and hassle-free delivery with the help of automated parcel terminals or click & collect lockers. Instead of wasting endless hours finding addresses, courier companies just need to deliver packages to the designated lockers. Customers can collect their parcels using a one-time password that they receive on their phone or email.
Not just delivery, even parcel returns leave an impact on financial returns. A study conducted by researchers from the University of Groningen, Netherlands and the University of Munster, Germany reveals that nearly 30 percent of all the products that customers buy online are eventually returned. Also, consumers seek better returns options, and about 81 percent of them would shop again with a retailer that made returns easy. Just like product delivery, click & collect makes parcel returns easier.
This is perhaps the most important one. All eTailers want happy customers as we all know, one irate customer can bad mouth about an organization and it can go viral. Besides providing quality products/services, one of the major objectives of eTailers should be getting positive customer reviews. Retail companies should carefully check all the aspects related to consumer needs including allowing their customers to choose delivery times.
Considering the increasing integration of eTailing and omnichannel commerce, it has become crucial that they seamlessly connect every step of a retail business, starting from inventory, POS, marketing, order management, merchandising, finance, and customer service to shipping, delivery and collection across various touch points.
The Way Forward
In the wake of thriving e-commerce market, the key focus areas mentioned in this post are critical to success. Shipping and logistics, especially last mile delivery requires a new and effective solution. Automated parcel lockers, for instance are becoming an integral part of the overall retail supply chain as an increasing number of consumers are seeking flexibility as to when and where they would pick up their parcel. This feature is equally important when integrating brick-and-mortar retailing and e-commerce as it offers the advantages of both the channels in real time.
In this highly anticipated “digital meets physical retailing” era, Smartbox will play a pivotal role to make life easier for both retailers and consumers. Smartbox has launched India’s first network of Automated Parcel Delivery Terminals. The terminals are located at strategic locations for easy drop and collection. Currently, present at various locations in Delhi NCR region, this network will expand all over India by the end of 2016 to help consumers and e-commerce companies in 24/7 parcel pick-up and drop respectively. Smartbox brings the much needed security, privacy and flexibility for the delivery of online shopping. It allows customers to pick-up parcels 24/7 as per their convenience.
To learn more about incorporating parcel lockers as part of the retail supply chain, you can browse our website – https://smartbox.in/. We are helping out major retail players and e-commerce sites to streamline their delivery process by installing parcel lockers. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us at 8882-760-760, and we will be glad to assist you.