In this piece, Doddle APAC CEO Justin Dery explains why retail marketers should look beyond traditional delivery options this Christmas.
2020 has been a year like no other, and marketers across the world, regardless of industry, have been forced to rethink brand interaction, upweighting digital and tracking rapidly evolving consumer behaviour. This year’s sales season will be no different. It will be vital for retail marketers to continue to adapt to evolving customer demands to increase loyalty and maximise sales following a year of mass disruption and challenges.
A pandemic-induced spike in online orders has accelerated ecommerce 82 per cent year-on-year, and with volumes expected to continue to rise over the next few months, we’re heading towards the biggest sales season in online shopping history.
Getting items to people has never been more important or fraught. Shoppers want convenient and cost-friendly delivery, and have become more particular about how their orders are delivered. Options such as Click & Collect and pick-up points are high on the list. Doddle research reveals that 59 per cent of consumers who have used these services say it’s because they can collect their delivery while completing other tasks. Retail marketers need to rethink the delivery journey to get goods into customers’ hands in the simplest and most convenient way.
During the height of Australia’s COVID lockdown, many retailers mistakenly believed that home-bound shoppers weren’t interested in alternatives to home delivery. But strong demand for out-of-home fulfilment has persisted throughout lockdown. The 2020 Easter period saw the biggest increase in demand for alternative delivery options – an uptick of over 55 per cent year-on-year. A new set of customer behaviours is emerging. Consumers have a defined appetite for collection of online purchases within their regular pattern of movement – commutes, supermarket visits and the like.
Alternative delivery options give retailers the opportunity to enhance the shopping experience for customers, boost brand reputation and encourage repeat purchases. Targeting current customer behaviour, such as a weekly grocery shop or visit to the local petrol station, enables marketers to enhance an existing service, rather than creating a new one.
Shoppers who use alternatives to home delivery quickly become habitual users. In part, this comes from the control customers are given over their own schedule and a greater sense of security, which has a massive impact on customer satisfaction. Not to mention the fact that enabling carriers to deliver many items to one location also means that the goods are in the customers’ hands faster.
Technology has a large role to play in making it a seamless and straightforward experience, with clear communications and timely alerts, and a quick handover process. Push notifications letting a customer know when their parcel has arrived, for instance, can help bolster the relationship between the retailer and customer. There is also the opportunity for retail marketers to build more complete data profiles of their customers at a time when data-informed customer experiences are driving growth.
The retail marketers investing in diverse delivery options will be set up for the months and years ahead.
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