Delivery and fulfillment are two of the biggest challenges facing retailers today. As consumers' demand for top-notch order fulfillment reaches an all-time high (thank you Amazon), many retailers are trying to figure out ways to keep up. Companies, like Bringg, are creating data-led delivery and fulfillment cloud platform solutions to help retailers optimize customer satisfaction. The important thing is for retailers to still meet customer satisfaction needs while also protecting their margins and profitability.
Consumers nowadays have gotten used to the immediate gratification that comes with ordering from companies, Like Amazon, or even using food delivery services, like Instacart and Doordash. However, this has completely changed consumer psychology.
“When us as consumers, we go sites outside of Amazon and Instacart, and we’re checking out, and we see we can pay an extra 20 dollars to get it within two days, but we order it and it doesn’t get here in the time we expect, we aren’t shopping at that site again,” said Guy Bloch, CEO of Bringg, to FashionUnited. “We might shop from that brand again, but instead we’ll turn to the marketplaces, like Amazon, where we know delivery is speedier and reliable. This means that website just lost a customer.”
Retailers will often give up on customers if they find customer retention difficult, and what happens is they’ll end up paying high margins in a very low-margin business. This isn’t sustainable, and it can lead businesses to close. E-commerce is only increasing as a revenue stream for retailers, so they must invest in online shipping and fulfillment. The problem is it is very difficult for independent retailers to stand up to goliath-sized corporations.
One of the first solutions to independent retailers improving fulfillment and delivery services is improving their network of delivery drivers. Retailers can be well served by tapping into a third-party fleet network of drivers with capabilities for things like making curbside pickup and delivery possible.
The ultimate goal for independent retailers is to gain the ability to control as much of their fulfillment operations. Bloch told FashionUnited that the COVID-19 pandemic did leave room for retailers to reset and become early adopters of optimizing their fulfillment channels.
“Retailers are better set up to play in the online space,” Bloch said to FashionUnited. “Within four months, companies that have optimized their fulfillment channels, by doing something as simple as improving their driver fleet, see a return on investment.”
Bloch also urges companies to watch their approach to outsourcing fulfillment and delivery because if it affects the customer experience, then they will go seek a better customer experience elsewhere. Digitization and interconnectivity between the entire delivery and fulfillment channel are necessary for companies to thrive and retain consumers.
Bringg in itself is a cloud-based platform rather than an actual delivery service able to help connect all of a retailer's delivery and fulfillment channels. The company’s goal is to help retailers find the most efficient way to optimize distribution.
The three key components for retailers to improve fulfillment are factory distribution, digitization, and reducing delivery time. While independent retailers have a more challenging time scaling as they compete with large enterprises, customer fulfillment is one of the keys to growing in a competitive market. The customer is key.