Why delivery needs to get digital

digital delivery

Where is my order? It’s a question most of us have asked ourselves at some point. And according to a recent study, it’s a question up to 80% of customers now ask retailers, in those quiet moments between placing their orders and receiving them.

Whether we’re waiting on some vegan pizzas, or a new pair of socks, we all wonder where they’re at exactly, not long after Check-Out. We want it all, and we want it now. 

This is why WISMO (Where Is My Order?) is now a majortopicfor all e-commerce and retail businesses. Society is changing, and retailers have to evolve to keep up and maintain their competitive edge.

In the digital age, it’s no longer a matter of merely selling products – it’s a matter of providing information about these products. Confirmations. Order status updates. Tracking. Proof of delivery. Being told to ‘allow 28 days’? That won’t cut it with consumers in 2022.

The Office for National Statistics tells us online shopping was responsible for over 30% of all purchases by the end of 2021. That meant more calls than ever from customers awaiting their goods. Not only is this expensive – when relying solely on agents or assistants in contact centres – but if handled badly, it can spell serious customer dissatisfaction. 

Data suggests 40% of the poor (one-star) reviews out there are based on issues around ‘delivery’. Thankfully, it’s a statistic that can now be avoided.

Providing answers, 24/7

This is where an intelligent virtual assistant can help. Automating these inevitable WISMO enquiries with fast, efficient responses offers an intelligent, round-the-clock service. 

Intelligent virtual assistants can connect you with your customers like never before – with more personalised, more humanlike interactions. Sentiment analysis can gauge how they’re feeling, based on their journey thus far, or the history and previous conversations between you. Better still, a human agent can step in where necessary, but increasingly, intelligent virtual agents can handle most of the specific WISMO-based questions customers will throw their way.

Our perception of ‘Automation’ is about to change entirely.

Across all platforms

This technology can work across all engagement channels too. Customers can self-serve on their terms (phone, website, WhatsApp, Twitter) or chat live with sophisticated bots – any time, any place. 

Virtual assistants can retrieve data from shipping companies and couriers to provide live, instant status reports. As a retailer, a product is no longer ‘out of your hands’ once shipped. Both parties can stay on top of an order. The technology can also be integrated into e-commerce sites, so growing retailers using the latest e-commerce platforms are able to field the bulk of these questions instantaneously.

In fact, many questions can be answered before someone even asks. Automated updates can keep a customer up to speed at every stage. Potentially making WISMO and WISMR (Where Is My Return?) enquiries a thing of the past.

The future is now

Today, automation can provide that personalised experience your customers demand, and want to come back to. Day and night. That means better customer satisfaction, positive online reviews and better odds for customer retention in the long term. 

It’s another way for businesses to put the customer first, and look after their agents in the process. Using the data gathered in these journeys, your agents can strengthen and nurture those customer relationships, while smoothing out any creases. In addition to reduced costs, all these positive interactions turn into natural brand loyalty – and very happy customers.

By David Seed, Head of Product and Engineering, Lokulus