A Shared Vision of Success | Post&Parcel

This article is an extract from the Autumn Edition of MER Magazine published in August 2018. You can read the full article as well as other articles  from MER for free by visiting digital.mailandexpressreview.com.

Mark Bigley, CEO, Secured Mail, argues that, in The Age of the Customer, delivery supplier collaboration is the key to success.

According to market research company Forrester, we are now living in “The Age of the Customer”. This describes the position of power that today’s customers and consumers hold, placing companies of every kind under increasing pressure to hit and maintain high standards.

Research by Salesforce found that 70% of consumers now report that technology has made it easier than ever to take their business elsewhere if their experience with a brand doesn’t meet expectations. The same Salesforce survey showed that 64% of consumers now demand companies respond to and interact with them in real time. Customers are also coming to demand a more personal experience, with two thirds indicating they would switch brands if they felt they were treated as a number, as opposed to a person. Experts predict that these expectations will only increase further as millennials come to dominate the market.

There are many contributors to a customer’s overall perception of a brand but key amongst them is the delivery process. Any disappointment around delivery or return of goods is proven to result in customer defection – and decreased share of wallet. The challenge for e-commerce players is that the deliver arena is becoming increasingly complex and more competitive. It is difficult for these retailers – many of whom will not have in-house delivery expertise – to stay on top of this rapidly evolving fulfilment scene.

Attempting to provide an end-to-end service across the supply chain requires significant investment. Large carriers are able to adopt this position, offering service options and pricing structures based on their size and scale. And yet, with delivery recognised as a critical differentiator, customers – and suppliers – are beginning to challenge these established patterns.

Today’s consumers are used to dictating terms, to being able to mould services and options to suit their specific requirements. The power is with the consumer, and supplier businesses attempting to hold-fast to legacy processes can quickly become laggards as more nimble operators embrace the zeitgeist. Retail decision-makers (all consumers themselves, of course) are reassessing processes.

The supplier market is adapting accordingly. A shift is occurring throughout the delivery supply chain in acknowledgement of the fact that lots of businesses are highly skilled at performing niche tasks. Experts are emerging at every stage of the delivery cycle – collection, sortation, hub distribution, depot distribution, final-mile delivery to door or convenient pick-up point. Similarly, many supplier businesses are adept at handling the complex audit trail that exists alongside this physical activity.

The result is that supplier businesses are starting to think collaboratively, exploring a strategic vision whereby the best of the best operate together in order to provide retailers with a service that is seamless, cost-effective and future-proof.

This article is an extract from the Autumn Edition of MER Magazine published in August 2018. You can read the full article as well as other articles  from MER for free by visiting digital.mailandexpressreview.com.


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