At the end of 2014, consumers spent more money than ever online; with Black Friday, Cyber Monday, an improving economy and the pre/post-Christmas spend, we generated an estimated £100 billion worth of online sales. As we head towards yet another Black Friday, consumer spending looks set to continue.
Much has been written about the demise of the high street due to the ease of websites such as Amazon and e-retailing from our trusted brands. Where online shopping has negatively impacted the high street, it has had a more positive outcome for the parcel delivery, distribution and logistics industry, who have seen increased demand and contracts.
Research from Mintel suggests that almost 94% of Brits have experience of using courier or express delivery services, yet the difference in customer services and ease of use by the delivery providers seems miles apart. With the industry expected to grow by a further 40% by 2019, the courier companies will effectively become the face of many brands and impact how we perceive the overall customer service and ease of contact.
There are certainly already some shining lights – with friendly delivery drivers, regular emails, text alerts, alternative delivery options and safe place options, it is no surprise that DPD and Hermes topped the Which? survey for the best delivery companies and that Ocado are voted the top online supermarket. The service across all customer touch points, online and in person from both companies certainly seems to stand out.
It must be a significant challenge for many retailers when selecting the right supplier. Already faced with stiff competition and working hard on their own omnichannel experience, choosing the right, or, wrong third party delivery company, will enhance, or, damage their brand. Only recently we ordered a number of small items from one major retailer, who generally does well with their customer service, however, the delivery experience varied greatly, as the items arrived via three separate delivery providers.
For the Couriers; achieving the right infrastructure, team and technology to meet increased demand in terms of volume, in addition to the customer and consumer expectations, leaves them with a tough job to ‘deliver’ (excuse the pun) and become the provider of choice. Done right the opportunities are there to further monetise the channel, research from Mintel suggests consumers are willing to pay extra for more convenience, set times and faster delivery choices.
The change and modernisation coming to the industry must put the customer firmly centre stage, to ensure the consumer insight and knowledge to offer the best personalised delivery service and achieve profitable contracts.
What do you think? Have you received really great, or poor service from Courier, or Parcel delivery service providers and how does it affect your brand experience? Do let us know by commenting here.
If you are a Distribution, or Logistics business looking to transform, or develop your Customer Strategy, or, if you are working within Customer Service, or Customer Experience and are a looking for a move, do give us a call. Tel: 0345 620 9720. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org