In delivery, complex doesn’t have to mean complicated
Understanding the true complexity of modern delivery is key to mastering it, says Rory O’Connor, founder and CEO of Scurri, the next-generation delivery management platform.
No one could have predicted how complex delivering online orders would become, which explains why many of the solutions that were developed to manage it are at best no longer adequate.
And in some ways, that is where we are now, a delivery market that is only going to get more tricky, being serviced by tools that were developed for simpler times.
It makes sense first to understand what we mean by complex. There was a time when consumers had to put up with completely different delivery experiences when shopping in store and online. They weren’t happy about it but they had no choice and at least now we are in a place where the systems and processes for both channels are broadly the same.
So far so good, but now add the new and emerging ways that retailers and brands are now fulfilling and it is soon clear that a new approach will be required. Retailers and brands looking for growth have been not just advertising but transacting over the social channels, notably TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.
Moreover, some have taken advantage of their brand presence to use their online assets as a marketplace for other brands. In 2022 alone, In 2022 according to Statista, global digital retail media advertising spending was estimated at $111 billion, while BCG reckons the market will grow by 25% per year to $100 billion over the next five years and will account for over 25% of total digital media spending by 2026.
And the third major source of growth, and arguably the one with the greatest potential, is cross-border commerce which has seen many brands, eager to get past stagnation at home, look to economies where trade is booming.
Each of these areas come with challenges although the first two are the simplest. With social media, traffic generally switches to main web assets while with retail media, the principal burden is on the third-party brands advertising, although the primary brand will generally insist that all third parties meet delivery standards consistent with their standards.
In the case of cross-border, the challenge is larger but so are the rewards. First of all, global ecommerce was 22% of total global ecommerce in 2022, up from 15% in 2015, according to Statista,
Key to building a delivery capability in every territory that is consistent with the service provided at home, depends on working with a partner that has a presence in each market and can help brands to cope with the peculiarities of each country and automate all relevant processes at scale, rather than building something different in each country which causes delays and racks up costs.
The partner should also enable brands to expand their carrier network without adding management complexity. That capability is very important, as Scurri’s 2023 eCommerce Delivery Trends Report reveals, 86% of UK consumers prefer it when merchants provide a range of delivery options.
They also want their deliveries quicker. While 33% of online shoppers believed that same-day delivery options were important back in 2020, that figure has now risen to 56%.
Key also is consistent post purchase communications owned by the brand not the third parties, which ensures they can boost loyalty with highly-customisable, own-branded tracking emails. reduce “where is my order” (WISMO) queries and protect customer acquisition.
Those post-purchase communications need to be up to date as 90% of shoppers feel that being updated on the status of delivery is non-negotiable. And they need to be backed up with an attractive returns policy. 83% of shoppers say they check return policies and will only purchase from a retailer that has a policy they like.
Partner expertise with automation are the two key elements in embracing complexity in cross-border delivery. And in the future, having this capability will become more important than ever as retailers and brands expand into more channels and territories, particularly in response to Millennial and Gen Z consumers who expect to shop seamlessly.
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