How logistics value added services (VAS) can help to overcome the challenges of omnichannel retail
Whilst an omnichannel approach is becoming increasingly popular amongst retailers, there are several key challenges that businesses must address when adopting this practice.
Whilst an omnichannel approach is becoming increasingly popular amongst retailers, there are several key challenges that businesses must address when adopting this practice. With the support of logistics value added services (VAS) from an expert logistics provider, companies can overcome these potential difficulties and improve both efficiency and customer satisfaction in the process. These selected methods will also give businesses a competitive advantage.
Customers’ ever-growing requirements
Advances in technology and the rise of e-commerce have had an undeniable impact on customer requirements, but fulfilment has also played a large part in this. Consumers expectations continue to be driven higher by businesses that are utilising fulfilment as a way to impress buyers. As a result customers are looking for faster, more personalised services as the industry moves from a product-focused approach towards much more customer-centric methods. Carefully chosen value added services (VAS) can help to resolve several of the issues that arise with an omnichannel approach, and ultimately produce increased levels of satisfaction amongst customers.
Meeting customer demand for faster delivery services
One of the primary challenges of omnichannel retail is honouring delivery promises. Many retailers are now choosing to offer next day or same day delivery, but with this comes the inevitable pressure to execute this commitment in an efficient way. To avoid this, retailers can take advantage of value added services (VAS) from an expert logistics partner, such as reworking, to help streamline the fulfilment process.
Reworking is the relabelling and repacking of finished items, for example with new swing tags, price tickets and stickers. Reworking on site means that items do not have to be constantly shipped back and forth. As a result, retailers benefit from lower transportation costs and can also reduce the time it takes to distribute orders.
Whether it’s an upcoming promotion or a last minute sale, those employing reworking on site will be able to continue fulfilment in an efficient manner. Items can be repacked and relabelled quickly and effectively to ensure products can be sold without any changes to the sales strategy, or delays to shipments which could result in dissatisfied customers.
Retaining competitive trade without compromising quality
In the pursuit of efficient delivery, it can prove challenging to juggle fast shipment times whilst also maintaining high levels of quality when it comes to product presentation. Packaging is a fundamental aspect of a brand’s image, attitude and appeal, and offers retailers a way to positively impact customers as soon as the product arrives on their doorstep. However, if a product arrives in poor quality packaging, this can have the opposite effect hindering the overall impression of the product itself and damaging the brand’s reputation.
Value added services (VAS) such as packaging, can help to create a high quality finish and ensure products give the best first impression to customers. A expert logistics partner that manages this can use specialist packaging, such as branded shipping boxes, personalised tissue paper or bags and luxury gift boxes, to help nurture an improved rate of satisfaction and brand loyalty amongst customers. Not only does this increase the general appeal of the product, but it also encourages customers to feel valued by their chosen retailers through a more tailored approach.
Ease of returns
Another key challenge of omnichannel retail is extending the seamless customer experience right through to the point of returns. Value added services (VAS) from a trusted logistics provider can help to ensure that the returns process is carried out with the same levels of efficiency as the initial delivery process.
Having an expert logistics partner to deal with returns on site quickens the process, which in turn helps to stop products becoming old stock and falling into the sale category. Items can also be fixed, and repackaged to make sure that they are in a pristine condition before returning to the stock pool. The fast turnover enables more of these products to be resold at full price. This enables the retailer to process returns from customers in a more efficient manner, ensuring high levels of customer satisfaction and avoiding product wastage. In turn, this removes the added pressure on retailers of upholding a smooth returns system themselves, whilst also reducing the potential financial losses associated with returns.
The long-term benefits of omnichannel
Retailers often panic when it comes to the upfront costs of converting to an omnichannel approach, but the long term benefits such as cost savings, a lower amount of discounted stock or a reduced number of returns for example, are not to be overlooked. The financial payoff when adopting an omnichannel approach is a sustainable system that will pull in considerable savings over time.
By working with an expert logistics partner that provides high quality value added services (VAS), retailers can overcome many of the challenges that arise with omnichannel retail. This includes, managing the ever-changing demands and expectations of customers, retaining competitivity in a time when delivery requirements are soaring, and completing the fulfilment cycle with a seamless returns system.
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