Almost half of British consumers have had a parcel delivery issue since the first March lockdown – that’s a significant number of people who have failed to receive a satisfactory service from the supplier. So what can be done to address this and ensure consistent and successful delivery services are achieved?
With the increase of ecommerce due to numerous lockdowns and restrictions throughout 2020 and into 2021, consumers have become more and more reliant on home delivery. Indeed, last November, ecommerce accounted for 31.4% of all sales, a significant increase from the 19% recorded in February 2020. It is no surprise that with the third lockdown underway, people will once again become heavily dependent on ecommerce and with a positive experience, won’t go back to the high street. Companies, therefore, need to focus on ensuring the delivery experience meets or exceeds expectations, improving customer satisfaction and retention. Furthermore, with convenient and dependable deliveries people will be less likely to venture outside during lockdown and with some retailers suspending click-and-collect services, more responsibility is placed on retailers to ensure successful home deliveries to help safeguard people’s safety.
Proof of Delivery (PoD) and parcel tracking capabilities are essential to minimise delivery issues and safeguard delivered goods across the supply chain. In turn, this increases operational efficiencies and improves the last-mile delivery service, bringing speed, flexibility and consistency to the process.
Parcel Delivery Issues
Citizens Advice found that late deliveries were the biggest problem concerning parcel issues, with almost one in three people (30%) across the country facing a delay. Added to this nearly one in five people (18%) who had a parcel issue suffered some sort of financial loss.
With limited access to the high street, these misdeliveries are incredibly frustrating and draw attention to the fact that home delivery should be a convenient and often preferable alternative to high-street shopping. When there are delivery issues, the customer (who has only dealt with the supplying brand in their purchasing journey) will blame them for the inconvenience, even if the brand uses a third party for the delivery. With that in mind, an effective delivery solution should be a top consideration for retailers due to the impact delivery issues will have on brand reputation and in turn brand loyalty.
Increasing Customer Expectations
Delivering a good customer experience is an important part of achieving overall brand success, and for ecommerce consumers, receiving an excellent delivery service is paramount to their satisfaction. With the rapid rise of ecommerce, PwC states that logistics companies are facing an era of unprecedented change as digitisation takes hold and customer expectations increase and evolve.
PwC further anticipates that most sectors, including retail, will return to growth in 2021. This positive news for retailers comes with a price – they must attempt to find solutions that work for the customer, especially with the changing behaviours caused by coronavirus. Faster, more efficient and convenient deliveries that prove to be value for money are increasingly important to the consumer. Retailers must take this into consideration and adjust their delivery offering accordingly.
The solution – PoD and parcel tracking. By implementing smart technologies, companies will increase efficiencies, improve customer experience, and prevent parcel delivery issues and failures.
Delivery tracking solutions provide customers with up-to-date real-time ETA’s for their deliveries at each stage of the supply chain and ensure problem-free deliveries. Having a user-friendly and easily accessible app means that the parcel can be tracked conveniently so that customers will know if any issues or delays arise as soon as possible and when their parcel is expected to arrive at their door. Customers can be further reassured by having access to online PoD services, where images of their parcel(s) left in a safe place can be found. The customer gains greater visibility when it comes to their deliveries and the whole process is verified and secure, meaning that consumers and providers can be safe in the knowledge that the information is correct in real-time.
In turn this will minimise missed deliveries and lower customer service costs, providing a cost-effective solution with real-time status information or proactively alert customers resulting in fewer inquiries or complaints. Using parcel tracking technology not only reduces the number of phone calls asking, “Where is my delivery?”, but will inevitably improve service quality, productivity and increase customer satisfaction, resulting in contented customers who feel in control and are therefore more likely to repeat their purchases.
There is a lot to be said about a speedy and successful delivery. Ecommerce is growing and companies must get on board by ensuring they have the right solutions in place to enhance the customer experience through a better delivery service journey.
By tracking parcels and using solutions such as digital Proof of Delivery we can ensure the continued rise of ecommerce and the fall of complaints about parcel delivery issues.
Andrew is Head of Marketing at Descartes Systems UK Ltd and has over twenty years’ business-to-business senior marketing management experience with high technology solutions (hardware, software and services) in complex business-to-business markets that includes logistics and transport with organisations such as Intel, Securicor, Unipart Technology Logistics and Orange.