Entering into 2018, the pace of consumer demand for ecommerce is not showing any signs of slowing down; and as innovative technology ever evolves; social and economic factors are increasingly shaping the way that consumers are able to communicate with, and purchase products from, retailers.
Influencing consumers’ expectations of excellence in every retail channel, – technology is increasingly providing consumers with the propensity for ever greater transparency surrounding their online retail experience, up to and including delivery; resulting in a vast movement, which impacts not only the retailers, but also key logistics processes, to meet the ever-challenging consumer demand for retail convenience.
According to the Metapack ‘2017 State of eCommerce Delivery report’ however; there still remains a “distinct disparity between consumers’ expectations, and the reality of ‘Delivery & Returns’ services offered by retailers”.
Consequently, increasing consumer demand means retailers are facing relentless pressure to compete with today’s dynamic eCommerce environment, to perfect their Delivery strategy and execution. They recognise the need to respond with innovative new tactics, to avoid paying the hefty price of losing their consumers’ brand loyalty and trust in their customer service offering.
With statistics from Metapack revealing that 45% of consumers have abandoned a basket on a retailers’ eCommerce website because of unsatisfactory or unavailable delivery options; 43% of consumers reluctant to return to a retailer following experiencing a negative delivery, and 38% of consumers likely to never use that retailer ever again; gaining the loyalty of consumers of today it seems, depends on not just meeting, but also aiming to exceed, their very stringent expectations regarding not only product availability, but also convenience of delivery.
With next-day and same-day delivery now established mandatory practice, there still resides an unmistakable consumer hunger for e-tailers and logistics providers, to complicity acquiesce to implementing ever-faster delivery options. We are living in a society where the function of same-day delivery now effectively dictates consumers’ purchase intent.
Logistics it seems is where Brand Loyalty really lies, and as such, the pressure is on logisticians and e-tailers, to get their last-mile capabilities right or suffer the consequences; delivery has the power to make or break the online shopping experience; ultimately re-defining the logistics of Brand loyalty.
With fast delivery now one of the highest priorities and a subsequent deciding factor for which company consumers choose to make their ecommerce purchases from; e-tailers and logistics companies alike are experiencing a significant impact.
The pressure posed on e-tailers from this customer-centric digital supply chain, in turn puts pressure on the manufacturers fabricating the products being retailed, giving rise to the ‘Direct to Consumer’ (DTC) trend.
In the wake of ever increasing pressure on e-tailers’ delivery of goods; DTC enables manufacturers to distribute goods directly to the consumer, and in turn, bypass the traditional commerce platforms. Yet whilst DTC proves to be an effective short-term solution offering competitive-advantage, there are concerns whether it can serve as a reliable and sustainable method of delivery, dictated by ever-growing consumer urgency.
Whilst the Supply Chain remains fundamentally responsible for providing businesses with the basic through-put of goods and service from raw materials to finished goods; continued indeterminable developments predicted for the ecommerce landscape mean that e-tailers need to begin to adopt more flexible processes to better handle inventory, fulfilment costs, and manage returns more efficiently – defined by the concept of a digitised, consumer driven supply chain – and ultimately embrace integrating their processes in order to achieve a successful and sustainable omnichannel solution to manage the growing demand from ecommerce consumerism, whilst simultaneously implementing a sustainable logistics
solution, which considers future scalability.