As demand for high-end online shopping grows, Nick Cullen, managing director, DX Express explains why the logistics industry must take responsibility for delivering a superior service.
The days of using online shopping to purchase small, low-cost items are fast fading; the boom in ecommerce means that increasingly, shoppers seeking convenience are hunting deals across a range of expensive items from antiques and luxury watches to pricey electronics. The amount they’re willing to spend is still rising. As such, delivery firms need to make sure they provide sellers with all the options available to deliver high-value items safely and securely.
Retailers have long relied upon the logistics industry to inform their delivery operations, but luxury sellers have not adapted this knowledge to reflect higher value goods. There are still far too many websites that fail to provide their customers with sufficient options, or have the capabilities in place to protect high-value items. The logistics industry knows better than anyone what is and isn’t possible, and delivery firms must take responsibility for communicating to sellers what is needed to safely deliver items. In turn, sellers need to ensure their online platforms clearly explain the delivery options to customers and the costs associated. If sellers have a preference for a particular delivery option, rather than provide a range of options to choose from, this should also be explicit.
The customer experience no longer ends at the point of sale; customers want to trust their purchase will be safely delivered and after-sales service can prove ‘make or break’ to a brand’s reputation. As a result, delivery firms must protect themselves by addressing this directly with their clients to ensure they understand the importance of meeting customer’s delivery expectations.
Equally, it’s not enough for delivery firms to simply offer a basic delivery service; if they want to work with sellers who are dealing with high value items, they need to ensure they have the best technology and resources to offer a superior service. High value deliveries are about much more than transporting a commodity from A to B; firms need to recognise the vital role they play in providing a great customer experience at the final mile. The onus is upon delivery firms to recommend the best type of delivery service to ensure sellers are happy with the level of care their customers will receive.
From choosing a particular delivery slot to tracking deliveries in-transit, today’s customers have come to expect more control over their purchases than ever before and delivery firms looking to stay ahead of the curve need to invest in the technology, people and operations to meet this demand. From providing photographic evidence of delivery to requiring electronic signatures on sophisticated, hand-held devices or offering a click and collect service, providing peace of mind for both sellers and their customers is paramount to offering an enhanced and competitive service.
What’s more, delivery firms need to alter their mindset to appreciate the value and fragility of the parcels. Of course, providing a personalised service relies on human efforts, which can and do very occasionally go wrong. As such, delivery firms must recognise that the speed and manner in which they rectify an error has to be of the highest caliber when dealing with high value items, as both seller and customer will expect exceptional assistance. Not surprisingly, convenience and safety often come at a price and delivery firms shouldn’t be afraid to pass on these costs, making sure the customer understands what they are paying for.
With the appetite for buying high-value items online showing no signs of slowing, successful delivery firms must work very closely with sellers to provide a broad range of options and guide them on what is required to deliver a positive customer experience from start to finish.
Nick Cullen, Managing Director, DX Express
Image credit: Fotolia and Anthony Upton