You know what I’m talking about. Your precious stock has gone missing on its way to a brand-new, hard-earned customer, and nobody seems to know where it is. Frustrating for you as a retailer? Well, what do you think that the customer will be saying about you, and your brand!
The Delivery Problem
I could regale at least 2 instances from personal experience over the last year where things that I or close friends and relatives have either ordered or sent and have gone missing. The retailer has then appeared incapable of communicating with the logistics company effectively to reassure me that I will receive my goods soon, or even at all.
Do You Really Want To Become a Logistics Company?
It’s a tough one. I’m really not advocating that any retailer, either small or large, suddenly develops their own logistics arm. What I am challenging is the extent to which any retailer would want to have their brand equity eroded, in a consumer’s eyes, by a poor delivery experience. You can tell customers as many times as you want that its DPD’s or Hermes’ fault. Consumers just don’t care. They bought it from you. Sort it out, and fast. And make sure they’re kept in the loop.
But I repeat. You cannot leave the reputation of your brand to chance.
A Vision of The Future
It also led me to start thinking about how shops and retailers may be able to take back control without getting on a bike and delivering items themselves. Once again, I came to the same conclusion that I usually do. The answer lies in the smart use of technology.
My vision goes something like this…
Retailers should be looking to create a real-world, face-to-face experience around their brand that will engage their customers in a different way. Think the old Nike Store on Oxford Street crossed with the first contactless Amazon food store that opened up in London last week.
Consumers Want To Use Their Smartphones for Everything
If I decide to purchase in-store, I’m likely in the near future to want to complete the purchase on my phone, according to research. So, I pull out my phone from my pocket, maybe scan a QR code or use NFC to select the item that I want to buy. I complete the purchase by paying for the item using my Google Pay or Apple Pay app. Other apps are available of course!
Good Old Fashioned Face-to-Face Customer Service
Once my purchase is completed, a brand representative sidles over to me to congratulate me on my purchase. Not to sell it to me because that bit has already happened thanks to the whole “in-store” experience. What I really want is for them to reinforce what a great buy it is, discuss the benefits and remind me why I was so clever to buy this item and not the competition. We all love a bit of blatant flattery! If all goes well, why not then discuss on-going service, warranties or any other add-ons that may be appropriate. Without being too pushy, of course!
Delegate, But Take Responsibility
This person should then become my brand advocate for the whole of the rest of the buying experience. We exchange numbers by bumping phones. Let’s assume at this point that the item that I have bought is not in stock. I suggest that the retailer, but more specifically my dedicated “brand advocate”, should take ownership of the whole process until it arrives safely at my door. Including all of those logistical issues, rather them me hanging on the phone for hours to a delivery company that really seems not to give a damn when it doesn’t show up.
Again, I repeat. Do not trust your brand to anybody else. Especially a delivery company!
For more information, contact the team at Secure Payment Solutions today