3 Delivery Challenges and How Retailers Can Overcome Them
While same-day and scheduled delivery options are ideal, they're not without their challenges. Elevated delivery service of any kind takes extra effort, but the results are more than worth it. Some mistakes are unavoidable and many consumers understand that, as roughly 50 percent of shoppers would give a retailer a second chance after a poor customer experience, including in the last mile. However, to avoid this scenario and risk losing the other 50 percent of consumers, here are some common challenges with elevated delivery as well as the ways retailers can overcome them:
Challenge No. 1: The Delivery Team
Most retailers lack the staff necessary to employ a consistent delivery team. Furthermore, it’s just not practical to hire full-time drivers, especially when purchases can be somewhat unpredictable. An on-call team is also not cost effective.
The best course of action is to partner with a third-party delivery solution. With this approach, retailers only need to pay for each delivery rather than retain their own employees. However, a delivery partnership isn't without its own challenges. The provider’s team represent the retailer, so any negative customer interactions can reflect poorly on the retailer. In most cases, these interactions are out of the retailer's control. That’s completely unacceptable, considering that 72.5 percent of poor deliveries will result in a customer likely to stop recommending the retailer.
To overcome delivery challenges, retailers should do their due diligence in vetting potential partners, considering factors such as customer reviews, transparency, on-time delivery performance, net promoter score (NPS), available products and brand extension.
Challenge No. 2: Lack of Technology
Without the right tools, there are many challenges that elevated delivery could introduce or amplify, including poor order visibility, scheduling issues caused by miscommunication, inability to track the status of a delivery, and an inconsistent delivery performance.
These potential pitfalls are avoidable with advanced delivery technology. Teaming up with the right delivery partner means finding one with the systems capable of handling a large number of deliveries simultaneously.
Challenge No. 3: Poor Communication
Perhaps the most important element of any type of delivery is clear communication with the customer. Because of the rapid pace of pulling an item from the store floor, getting it to a delivery vehicle and to the correct destination, there are many points in the process where communication could fail. Plus, with several parties involved in the delivery process, the odds are pretty good that essential details could fall through the cracks.
To avoid this pain point, customers should be informed at every step of their purchasing journey, including order confirmation, delivery schedule confirmation, who to expect, real-time delivery estimates and delivery confirmation, among other details.
In the delivery process, communication should be a two-way street. Not only should consistent communication come from the retailer, but consumers should be able to contact the store, delivery pros and customer support with any questions or concerns.
Overcoming Delivery Challenges
Consumers expect speed, control, professionalism and communication when it comes to delivery. Ignoring these factors or approaching them haphazardly can very easily cause retailers to lose customers to competitors. Retailers can overcome these key challenges by implementing last-mile delivery strategies that help them offer elevated delivery experiences that shoppers want and, ultimately, the level of service that will make them loyal and lasting customers.
Brian Kava is the CEO of PICKUP, a provider of same-day and scheduled deliveries.
Brian is recognized as a savvy, innovative C-level executive with a proven record of achieving revenue, profit, and business growth objectives by providing expert business process, outsourcing, and cutting-edge technology solutions for blue chip clients. He has more than 20 years of experience in generating consumer and brand awareness, maximizing product visibility and developing sales and marketing strategies for some of the world’s most renowned brands including Walmart, Google, Amazon, Home Depot, Whirlpool, Nike and Microsoft. He is recognized in the marketing services industry as one of the leading experts in the strategic development and execution of retail and commercial execution solutions. Brian maintains an uncompromising focus on high quality standards, employee centric culture and bottom-line profit improvements. Brian received his bachelor degree in Business Administration from Longwood University in Virginia.