August 2017 | Commentary | E_Commerce

Developing Innovative Delivery Services That Delight Customers

Tags: Retail, E-commerce, Retail Logistics, Supply Chain

Lori Mitchell-Keller is Global General Manager, Consumer Industries, SAP, @LoriMitchellKel, 800-872-1727

To compete in today's retail landscape, companies must differentiate themselves to meet consumer demands and drive brand loyalty. Many retailers are reassessing every aspect of their supply chains—including their delivery services—and implementing digital processes to ensure superior consumer experiences.

Many consumers are willing to pay more for a better shopping experience. In recent years, retailers have found great success by offering innovative delivery options. Services such as door-to-door delivery, curbside delivery, and same-day delivery have provided ways to get goods to the consumer faster.

When customers have the ability to place orders through any channel in real time, they also expect the order to be fulfilled in near real time. Uber gets it.

UberRUSH allows retailers to offer door-to-door delivery in one hour or less. This makes purchasing items more convenient, affordable, and reliable. Sunglass manufacturer Maui Jim has embedded UberRUSH delivery micro services in its technical infrastructures—resulting in elevated convenience and overall consumer satisfaction.

Another service that many companies are implementing is click and collect, which includes curbside delivery. It's crucial that retailers blend the benefits of both traditional shopping and e-commerce. To do so, retailers are focusing on the growing online consumer base and offering one-hour curbside delivery at local franchises.

Retail giant Walmart is offering a service that does just that. Through its click and collect pickup and curbside delivery, shoppers can fill their carts online and select at-store pickup during checkout. Walmart's digital database collects the data and creates the order. Upon pickup, shoppers arrive at their local Walmart and receive orders to their cars within minutes—resulting in increased convenience.

30 Minutes or Less

To further support e-commerce sales, retailers will also soon be investing heavily in digital databases that support independent airplane delivery.

The first company to do so is Amazon. The online retailer has been developing its airplane and drone programs to elevate the consumer experience and provide a unique delivery service.

To support increased sales from Prime Day 2017, Amazon launched the Prime Air network and delivered items via company-branded cargo planes. As soon as orders were placed, the company's digital programs sorted orders, monitored inventory, and determined the closest fulfillment centers that could ensure same-day global deliveries.

The company has conceptual plans to expand its freight network through drone delivery. Although not yet available for the general public, the company will use its digital database to review order information and delivery logistics to ensure consumers across the globe receive their products in 30 minutes or less via drone.

To thrive in this era of unprecedented innovation, retailers need to place technology at the epicenter of all business strategies.

To truly stand out, retailers must invest in agile, scalable solutions and digitize their entire supply chain, including delivery services and capabilities. From the point of ideation to the moment of delivery, it's crucial that retailers exceed expectations to heighten the overall consumer experience.






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