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Opinion: Online retailers should already be catering for Generation Z delivery


Generation Z know no different to ‘I want it now!’ which means that online retailers should already be catering to their youngers customers’ needs, says FJ Miller, co-founder and chairman at same day delivery platform Liefery
While millennials have lived through the technology boom and have become accustomed to getting what they want when they want it, Generation Z doesn’t know anything else. As a result, retailers need to be more ‘on-demand’ than ever before in order to cater to their youngest customers.

Buying online (whether it’s for food or clothes or gadgets) should always be the fun, exciting and indulgent activity it was intended to be – but the delivery has the potential to ruin this. That new pair of shoes you bought online all of a sudden seems less exciting when it gets delivered to the wrong address because the designated delivery driver didn’t get the right information…

We buy almost everything online now

While once upon a time we only ordered food from JustEat or Hungry house as a special treat for lazy days, takeaway sales have soared 50% in the past year as we’re increasingly choosing to eat from home.

Our choices are no longer limited to your average Chinese takeaway or Domino’s pizza – we can now order gourmet meals from restaurants through platforms like Deliveroo and Uber Eats.

And the innovation doesn’t stop there – it might not be long before the delivery drivers we’re used to start arriving in robot form. In London, Starship Technologies have partnered with JustEat to introduce delivery robots, while in San Francisco, Marble and Yelp Eat24 are running a similar project.

While human delivery drivers haven’t fallen off the map just yet, delivery drones are already proving to be a useful and sustainable solution – Amazon has had success trialing them on-demand to reach places that would otherwise be unreachable due to hazardous weather or terrain. Ford has followed suit, recently announcing that they plan to launch drones from self-driving vans for delivery purposes.

There’s more to come in the delivery space

It’s no longer enough for retailers to simply deliver goods within any given timeframe. Only companies that offer the best propositions will prove successful in the long-term, and this comes down to constantly innovating and keeping an eye on the latest logistics products and trends.

There are a variety of startups which automate the process of connecting retailers, suppliers and consumers. Many offer solutions that are so easy to implement, retailers don’t need to spend any time adapting their business models.

Now with the right tools, when the consumer makes an order from your stock, you can determine who the best driver is on the job based on different factors (that are reviewed automatically), and then the orders are transmitted through API or smartphone to the courier. It couldn’t be simpler for the retailer and the customer never has to worry, as everything is delivered on time during the time-frame they have requested.

Even the delivery of bulk goods has changed through innovation and data availability. Companies like UPS have now developed their own technologies like ORION, which analyses data to find the best, fuel-efficient and cost-effective way to deliver goods to a customer.

Ultimately everyone – business and consumers alike – wants the same thing. They want speed, efficiency and personalisation. By keeping abreast of new technologies as they emerge on the market, retailers can create an experience that is automated for the supplier and the driver and makes for a great user experience for the consumer. Because as much you want to retain existing customers, you also want to attract new ones – and the younger generation expects nothing less than seamlessness.

FJ Miller is co-founder and chairman of Liefery

Image credit: Fotolia

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