We know parcel shipping volumes have been on the up, but what’s surprising is the scale of the surge.
From 2015 to 2016, the country's number of parcels shipped annually rose by 13% to 794 million parcels, representing an astonishing nine-billion-dollar spend. Research by Pitney Bowes shows that by 2021 we can expect over one billion parcels will be shipped annually in Australia.Such growth will add complexity to the entire delivery process. In anticipation of this trend, Australian retailers have more to think about when planning how to remain competitive in what’s becoming a noisier, more complex and faster-paced environment.
In this era of continuous verification and instant results, the challenge is bigger than ever to meet consumer expectation. Consumer satisfaction revolves around individual requirements of how effectively I can get what I want, where I want and when I want it. This is the Individual Economy - ‘IConomy’ for short. Individual requirements can change in our fast paced world by the hour or even by the minute. This means it’s essential to consumers to be in control of the delivery. The delivery process needs to be flexible enough so that customers can choose when and where their goods are delivered. Businesses that cater to these individual needs will lead the way for consumer experience. Customer experience remains the top reason for choosing a particular brand. In fact, 79% of online shoppers choose one retailer over another if they don’t find the expected delivery options. Realising that the delivery experience IS the customer experience is pivotal in remaining competitive.
Retailers are focusing on micro-location technology for a transparent shopping experience that puts the control in the customer’s hands. Customers can have visibility from the time their product is purchased to when it leaves the warehouse and is en-route to be delivered. This creates an Uber like experience with the flexibility to change any details during the delivery process. The consumer is updated in real-time, on their terms, through their preferred channel of communication, messaging apps, text message or email. This manages consumer expectation and provides constant verification meeting the demands of the IConomy.
By 2020, it’s predicted that 1 in 10 items will be bought online. As e-commerce operators grow in popularity and compete against each other, it’s crucial to reinvest, restructure and shift patterns and processes to deliver when and where your customer actually wants. With pressure mounting on retailers and carriers stemming from this acceleration in parcel shipping volume growth, it’s a necessity to focus on your delivery process. The good news is that with a transparent, simplistic delivery process that puts the customer in control, you will delight your customers and you can stay ahead of the competition.
It is worrying that, despite the fact that the demand for a faster, more precise delivery service is there, the logistics market don’t think they will be ready to deliver in 2 hour windows until 2028 (as recent research by Zebra Technologies has revealed).