Why optimising your fulfilment capabilities needn’t be an Amazonian task
By Andy Hill, Director at Sorted
UK parcel volumes will achieve a hefty 13% year-on-year uplift in 2018, the IMRG predicts, as ever more consumers embrace online shopping and home delivery. That amounts to an incredible 1.5 billion parcels in the system in a year, roughly a quarter of which will be sent during November and December.
The success of e-commerce is thrilling, but no-one’s denying the intense seasonal pressure it puts on retailers’ delivery management platforms, their carrier partners’ capabilities, and their customer service call centres.
As we head into that crucial Christmas peak, pureplays and omnichannel retailers’ preparations for peak are in full flow, not least because record average basket values have been recorded this year (the IMRG reports) and are on track to be sustained to year end. Naturally retailers view this as their biggest sales growth opportunity – if they get it right.
The race is on for game-changing functionality
Delivery management puts retailers on a knife edge. This is because failed first-time deliveries, late deliveries and lost orders can lead to additional costs, overburdened call centres, and the potential permanent loss of customers. It’s a dangerous game, often caused by limitations in legacy delivery management platforms that simply can’t cope or offer the game-changing functionality required to keep pace with consumer demand.
Successful fulfilment of a customer's order is about meeting their expectations, not just in terms of delivering the product in perfect condition and on time, but also in keeping them informed in real-time of any unforeseen delays and revised delivery dates.
Ideally orders are personalised so that the customer feels assured full account has been taken of their individual needs. They want to be able to track the status of the order so that issues can be resolved promptly and efficiently. This means communication has never been so critical.
Push notifications by SMS text or email – preferably retailer branded – informing when an order has been dispatched and delivered are playing a vital part in reducing failed deliveries, raising customer satisfaction levels, and slicing out cost.
E-commerce players won’t survive without market-leading delivery experience platforms that enable functionality like predictive delivery issue management and a single ‘helicopter view’ of all parcels and their status. With the latest delivery platform add-ons, it’s possible to build in functionality that will facilitate further tempting offers and cross-selling opportunities via this important communications channel.
Intelligent, but reassuringly simple SaaS
So how can retail CTOs get their delivery management platform up to speed – and quickly? Thankfully, tech has advanced to make this possible without in-house IT teams facing an Amazonian endeavour, fraught with risk and hampered by budgetary constraints.
With Sorted’s latest SaaS, a state-of-the-art delivery platform can begin delivering e-commerce gold in record time, because integration with legacy systems and carrier partners’ systems is designed to be easy, seamless and non-disruptive to business as usual operations.
For instance, implementing this single touchpoint solution upgrades the retailer’s customer delivery proposition instantly, with no extra work required. Within a short timeframe it becomes possible to keep conversion rates growing and basket abandonment rates down, with the latest software that allows control of the delivery offering in finite detail.
Another benefit is that a retailer can integrate once, then remove the pain of ongoing carrier integration, because Sorted can give access to a host of carrier partners and onboard an unlimited number of new integrations on the retailer’s behalf. With the help of ongoing support and thanks to APIs, webhooks and the ‘headless’ nature of the software, the Sorted delivery platform is intuitive and extremely low maintenance.
Reliability is everything
This might be a lightweight integration job, but it delivers heavyweight reliability – providing up to 99.99% uptime. At Sorted we’ve worked hard to crack this, and we continue to push the envelope. We constantly improve our delivery platform solutions, with software updates automatically available. We’ve built in full scalability and tailored fall-back measures, for added peace of mind for busy retailers.
CTOs are making big IT decisions that will ensure customers get the ease of service and convenience they crave. Paring down the delivery platform integration burden leaves more time, energy and in-house IT expertise for countless other business-critical operations. Why not make change easy?