Derek O’Carroll, Brightpearl CEO
The Covid-19 outbreak has turned the online sales ecosystem upside down and has seen a huge surge in sales. Today’s e-commerce is booming and catapulting online shops to new heights. E-retail revenue is expected to rise againbut $ 6.54 trillion More and more retailers and entrepreneurs are moving online by 2022.
In our researchWe found that 65% of consumers will shop online more often over the next 12 months. 20% say they are only expected to shop online within 5 years. There is clearly a tremendous opportunity here for challenger brands – especially in the DTC space – to capitalize on the huge increase in online customers, especially as Buyer – 81% of them want to buy branded products directly.
Unfortunately, while most brands in the direct selling race know everything they need to do on the front end, few are trying to manage operational complexities that are beyond the buy button. That said, many online brands screw the doggie when it comes to delivery.
Let me add context here – since the pandemic started, 61% of consumers have had trouble buying brands online – with a quarter of buyers have has been disappointed with an online order since the beginning of the crisis.
The reliability of delivery has created a crisis of confidence for some consumers. 48% of US buyers Now let’s say online deliveries have been taking longer, and since the crisis 38% of UK buyers agree.
It’s not difficult to say that tToday’s e-commerce market is fraught with fulfillment problems. and TThese widespread errors and delays result in customers missing important deliveries, leading to greater disappointment and distrust when shopping online.
Online demand creates costly mistakes
When consumers go online, vendors need to process the increased demand for online orders faster – and that can lead to errors. When out of stock or regularly shipping to the wrong addresses, these glitches are often due to ineffective workflows or human error.
With online brands, these delivery errors won’t find favor with customers – they quickly undermine trust in your brand and you can count every repeat business. After Covid, maximizing the value of customer lifetime becomes even more important. Recently we saw Data demonstrating the value of retention versus acquisition Like improving customer loyalty, 5% increases profits by up to 95%.
Forrester also expects customer retention and retention spending to increase by 30% over the next year after adding numerous new online customers in the 2020 e-commerce boom.
We know that post-purchase experiences, from delivery to return, have a huge impact on customer loyalty and loyalty – and these are precisely the scenarios that should be addressed over the next 12 months. To further this point, in a survey by Brightpearl we found that 77% of all 1-star reviews were related to issues with delivery such as goods being delayed or items being shipped to the wrong location.
In this sense Optimized delivery strategies must be high on the agenda for fast growing brands. As online sales continue to grow, revising your ecommerce delivery strategy to make online deliveries faster, more reliable, and more flexible could provide the competitive advantage that will attract and retain customers over the long term.
Brands that fail to improve their services run the risk of missing out on one of the greatest digital opportunities in recent years.
Spill the secret sauce
When it comes to online delivery, the top performing retailers all have something in common. They consistently meet or exceed customer expectations for delivery times and respond quickly and seamlessly to changing customer needs or peaks in demand.
These brands understand that they are competing with the big players on the court. That means Amazon, and they value fast, reliable delivery and fulfillment as extremely important.
The top performers exceed expectations and can stay competitive because they have an automated delivery strategy in place. Amazon remains faster than any other major competitor, but this one above Retailers close the gap by fully automating customer orders, inventory updates, sales decisions, and more. This avoids human error and increases the productivity of the process as an article are moved out the door faster.
When it comes to shipping speed, automation can improve this exponentially, allowing a brand to present itself as a viable alternative to the giants with the speed, convenience, and consistency of service that ensure it Customers are satisfied and are more likely to return to repeat purchases.
New era – new solutions required
Covid-19 has put existing business and retail models in the spotlight and proven to be an extreme stress test. Fast delivery, guaranteed order fulfillment and excellent customer experiences are the bare minimum for online retailers. In my view, the increased demand is not going to let up, and brands should fully expect that changing expectations and interests outside the traditional “tops” are the new normal – and companies need to be aware of the need to keep evolving.
Understandably, many retailers are struggling with the logistics of increased demand and decreased operating capacity. In order for retailers to directly address these challenges while delivering on their service promises, e-commerce companies need to improve their digital retail infrastructure and streamline operational processes as much as possible. I encourage companies to take the time to use feedback to identify weaknesses in the end-to-end customer journey and the impact of the pandemic on their organization.
By taking strategic steps to streamline operations, fast-growing companies can maximize the opportunities that arise in our current environment. I believe that superior DTC models are emerging now that are based on agility, expandability and speed that will reduce market share and become new market leaders over time. But they undoubtedly succeed A consumer-centric strategy and exceptional online delivery models will be built on a solid foundation – and accelerated use of automated workflows.