Simon Clifford, Director at award-winning, third-party logistics provider, Cygnia Logistics, explores the challenges facing businesses when it comes to scaling up and provides some tips to help you realise your growth ambitions in 2020.
Digital technology has opened up an overwhelming array of opportunities to reach customers and sell products, not just in the UK, but around the world. The demand for choice, availability and service is prompting businesses to fast track change to keep up.
While there is a sense of urgency, it’s essential to make sure any change is carefully planned. If done badly, it can result in losing customers, however, if done well, it can deliver rapid business growth. In either case, businesses need to have a clear strategy, a workable plan and a collaborative approach that actively seeks out expertise which isn’t currently available within the business.
There are many reasons why you may be thinking of scaling or shifting your business model up a gear. These may include; interest from overseas markets, demand for more flexible or 24/7 delivery options and free returns, new products coming online, consolidation of product ranges or the need to rethink your storage and delivery options as you are at capacity.
If you take the fast beauty market as an example, according to the British Beauty Council, its contribution to the British economy is now outstripping that of the automotive industry. This is a clear example of how embracing opportunities, without compromising on customer experience and service, is delivering growth for players both large and small.
Fast beauty is a truly omnichannel market. Beauty businesses are selling to spas and retailers on the B2B side, delivering on social-led sales driven by influential Instagrammers at the highly-demanding end of the spectrum and exploring experiential and pop-up shops to service the more traditional route of sales in the field.
New ranges, new regulations, new markets and increasingly diverse customer segments are now typical of the sector. So what can businesses learn from the beauty industry’s savvy approach to change, transformation and growth in a diverse and demanding market?
Choosing the right logistics partner
A good logistics company won’t just deliver the goods, it will deliver on your brand promises too. By supporting a positive customer experience, your delivery partner should help to retain customers, increase sales and gain new customers through advocacy and positive reviews.
Think customer first
Customers should be front and centre of all decisions for successful growth, as well as decisions surrounding logistics. Pure play, omnichannel or clicks-and-mortar businesses all need to consider the choices they are offering their customers – convenience is a huge factor.
With the increasing demand for quick delivery and next day delivery representing around 30% of today’s ecommerce market, it’s vital to meet customer needs to minimise basket abandonment. Free delivery and free returns is complex area that will benefit from expert advice from your logistics provider as well as customer insight to achieve the right balance.
Learn from your data
Utilising the power of data, technology and working in unison with your logistics partner allows you to innovate and create great services that are exclusive to your brand. If done properly, this should act as a point of differentiation in the increasingly competitive retail environment.
Choose a partner that buys into your vision
Your logistics partner should be agile, flexible, creative and willing to invest in your scaling plans. This could be through innovative insight, collaborative working or contributing to develop new system solutions to give you the edge.
It is no longer an option to stick with what you know. The ecommerce market is rapid-moving and ever-changing – choosing the right logistics partner can be the key to realising your ambitions and unlocking the true potential of your business with confidence.