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What retailers can do to delight with deliveries

18th May 2022
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Between increasing delivery volumes and overlapping supply chain crises, and ever-increasing customer expectations, there is more pressure on delivery organisations than ever before. And according to DispatchTrack’s 2022 Big and Bulky Delivery Report, all that pressure is putting enough strain on business to translate into real consumer dissatisfaction with last mile deliveries. 

Overall, the research showed that rescheduled deliveries had become the rule, rather than the exception, and that consumers were often frustrated by poor communication and inconsistent on-time delivery rates. (The report polled 1,600 US consumers, but it echoes the findings of related surveys here in the UK.) Demand for scheduled deliveries is increasing, especially as the ecommerce boom continues apace, but the mood among customers is one of real frustration when it comes to actual delivery experiences right now.

All that being said, there is a silver lining; customers were actually quite clear about what they do want in a positive delivery experience, and there is a huge advantage to be gained from businesses that can make a point of addressing consumer frustrations in this area. 

Why Communication Is So Important to Delivery Experience

One of the most striking things the report found was this: 50% of consumers blamed negative delivery experiences on lack of communication. That means that when something went wrong, customers were more likely to be annoyed by a lack of communication than by the actual late (or early) delivery itself or any other factor. 

And it is not just crucial when things go wrong. A significant majority of consumers (80%) want to receive delivery status updates—with 39% in favour of updates at least daily and 27% as often as possible, even if that means multiple times a day.

The upshot here is that if you can provide frequent order status updates to customers—ideally at least daily—you can keep customers happy even when minor hiccups arise.  

90% of Consumers Want to Track Their Delivery Orders

When you reach the day of delivery, demands around transparency are greater. A staggering 90% of consumers want to be able to track their delivery orders. Not everyone demands complete real-time truck tracking, but nearly everyone wants at least a general idea of where their order is. 

In spite of that, one in three consumers were not able to track their most recent delivery. And only 28% were actually able to see the delivery location. 

This is not a demand that consumers have pulled out of thin air, either. If they have ever used a food delivery service, they have seen that it is possible to offer this level of transparency into the delivery process. As a retailer, you can win business and inspire customer loyalty by making sure that real-time tracking is a consistent element of the delivery experience. Sure, there can be technological hurdles to providing that level of visibility, but when you invest in supply chain visibility, it can have a number of added operational benefits, from faster exception management to simplified reporting and delivery costing.   

How to Delight Customers with Right Time Deliveries

You cannot place too much emphasis on strong communication and real-time delivery tracking, but at the end of the day, one of the most important parts of a great customer delivery experience comes down to delivering at the right time. This means not late, and not early. 66% of consumers said that on-time was the best aspect of a positive delivery experience, and nearly one in three said that early deliveries can be just as bad as late ones.

This is high stakes for businesses that carry out scheduled deliveries. 61% are unlikely to purchase from a retailer again after a previous order misses its delivery window. And yet, nearly half of big and bulky deliveries were not delivered on-time. This presents another opportunity for businesses that are focused on customer experience to gain a competitive advantage. If you can leverage tools like AI and machine learning to create delivery routes with highly accurate ETAs, you can ensure that your customers get the right goods at the right time. At a moment where most customers are not confident that that is going to happen, this can be a huge boon.

To download DispatchTrack’s Big and Bulky report 2022 please click here



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