How to Unlock Value and Customer Delight This Black Friday

Arya Bharti

How to Unlock Value and Customer Delight This Black Friday

The retail industry has seen more disruptions in the last five years than in the previous 50, and the pace of its disruptive evolution is not showing signs of slowing down.

Recent market research projects that by 2026, retail e-commerce sales will hit the USD 8.1 trillion dollar mark, while global retail sales are expected to amount to USD 32.8 trillion dollars

However, this growth and revenue boom don’t come easy as 55% of consumers search for pre-purchase information on search engines, 32% check customer reviews on retailer websites, and 29% check price comparison websites before making the purchase.

Once the initial shortlisting of products is done, 43% of consumers base their purchase decisions on competitive pricing and better availability of stock, according to the PwC Global Consumer Insights Pulse Survey.

Then come the delivery and service factors, plus the sustainability rationale that are gaining a strong foothold among the masses globally. Hence, strategizing for major sales events like Black Friday is no longer a discount game only.

Here are three key differentiators that not only drive purchase decisions but also help businesses serve their customers fabulously, without thinning down their bottom lines.

#1 – Same/Next-Day and On-Time Delivery

While it has become an absolute consumer favorite globally, accelerated delivery can weigh significantly on the retailers’ pockets. A recent McKinsey study revealed that more than 90% of consumers view a 2- to 3-day delivery window as the baseline, and 30% of them expect same-day deliveries.

Further, longer delivery times are instant put-offs for the consumers, driving them to other brands, and never look back.

With more than 42% of retailers aiming at capitalizing on this opportunity, consumers largely remain unwilling to pay for this accelerated delivery speed.

Giants like Amazon keep on raising the bar with express deliveries free of cost, which ultimately makes seconds count. As delivery times compress and cycle times become tighter, retailers need to focus on building strong network capabilities, intelligent management functionalities, and automated delivery planning.

Uber-like carrier/driving onboarding, digitized contracting, real-time tracking, and automated order allocation are some of the must-have capabilities for a retail ecosystem promising express deliveries. 

#2 – Flawless Delivery Experiences for Customers

Retail has evolved from brick-and-mortar stores to disruptions such as curbside pickups, same-day deliveries, omnichannel fulfillment, and multi-platform sales. Hence, limitations like disparately functioning business components, poor coordination among multiple stakeholders, and lack of real-time information availability for customers are foreseeable. 

However, with a whopping 91% of consumers actively tracking their packages, and 39% of them tracking their orders once a day, retailers can no longer consider themselves eligible for such misses.

They need to implement technologies at scale that empower them with granular visibility over shipment movements and enable them to share real-time insights with relevant stakeholders in a personalized format. 

Intelligent logistics management solutions that come with in-built algorithms for message and alert personalization can go a long way to offer delightful customer experiences.

The ability to contact, chat with, or call the drivers in real-time, send custom delivery instructions, make payments in multiple modes, select the delivery/service slots, and execute flawless operations via advanced automated workflows is definitely a game changer for retailers. 

#3 – Advanced Analytics 

Data analytics and visualization have become critically important for drawing actionable insights and discovering hidden trends from organizational data.

The ability to process, analyze, and make sense of random and unstructured organizational data and being able to take strategic business decisions from the insights, empowers retailers to plan and execute highly efficient and customer-centric shipment lifecycles. 

However, getting hands-on fresh, and actionable insights remains a challenge with dependency on external agencies and third parties. This is another massive use case for intelligent logistics platforms that offer in-built data analytics and visualization capabilities.

Retailers can get access to rich data visualizations in multiple formats for business intelligence across all the verticals.

Which carrier performed the best, and which area generated the highest number of delayed deliveries, creating the right mix of freelance and dedicated fleet, and more – the scope of analytics in delivery planning and operations is endless. 

#4 – Scaling Deliveries Economically

To meet the growing demands of Black Friday and beyond, retailers must strategize for economically scaling their delivery operations.

Balancing same-day delivery expectations with cost-effective solutions is crucial. Cost-efficient delivery strategies and an efficient delivery ecosystem are paramount for retailers aiming to offer speedy services economically. 

Automated order allocation and smart delivery workflows accompanied by manpower planning based on area-specific needs or constraints can work wonders when it comes to economical scaling.

Advanced delivery planning and last mile solutions can empower businesses to create the most optimal mix of dedicated and freelance drivers without compromising delivery SLAs, or bandwidth.

#5 – Proactive Logistics Management

Proactive logistics management plays a pivotal role in helping businesses navigate the operational challenges of delivering fast and timely during sales events like Black Friday.

With real-time visibility into the entire delivery process, businesses can track shipments, monitor carrier movements, and identify potential delays instantly. With this information, they can take immediate remedial actions to ensure timely deliveries.

Utilizing predictive analytics, businesses can anticipate demand surges and potential bottlenecks in the delivery process. Analyzing historical data and market trends allows for strategic planning, ensuring that the right resources are allocated to high-demand areas during sales events.

Ensuring customer delight and profitability during seasonal sales events requires credible, scalable, and intelligent technology infrastructure that doesn’t give way to sudden spikes and real-time disruptions.

Optimizing on the move for delivery disruptions, delivering as per customer availability and preferences, and ensuring resource as well as cost-efficient operations are definitely the right catalysts retailers must focus upon to unlock value in every form. 


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