Optima’s response to the Metapack 2017 Consumer Research Report

MetaPack 2017 Report screenshot

After highlighting our Top 10 Takeaways from the Metapack 2017 Consumer Research Report, we thought we’d respond with our thoughts on how Optima and Optimser WMS can help you meet your customer expectations.

1. Customers want a wide range of delivery options

  • It goes without saying that customers want a wide range of delivery options

Optima already integrates with many couriers, including:

So you can use several couriers easily, and we also integrate with Delivery Management Software like GFS and Metapack if you prefer.

If you want to use custom rules to automatically choose the right courier based on things like weight, size, and destination, then Optimser can help you.

In addition, you might want to choose a different courier for fragile, or very large items.

Perhaps you will only need to use a different courier on very rare occasions, but having the ability to do so will be worth it.

2. Consumers will talk about bad experiences

This may be obvious, and is increasingly common on social media where a quick tweet, status update or photograph can explain what went wrong to thousands of people.

This can potentially result in fewer sales, or people shunning your brand or website entirely.

Therefore, the first experience of your brand may be the courier you choose.

  • To many people, your courier is you, and your courier is responsible for your reputation

If the tracking number isn’t given at the time of dispatch, the courier website isn’t regularly updated with the order status, and the courier leaves a parcel out in the rain, this is not a good customer experience.

Customers are likely to talk about and remember this sort of thing, more than they’ll remember the cheap price or free delivery.

As mentioned previously, Optimiser integrates with many courier systems, so you can be confident that your customers are kept informed of their order status, from payment to parcel.

3. Speed and convenience is imperative

People will choose retailers and couriers based on delivery options.

  • If you don’t offer a fast delivery service, and you can’t compete on price people will need other reasons to buy from you, and not your competitors

In addition, a more flexible delivery method is also likely to be better for people who need to be at home to receive their order.

Instead of needing to take a day off work, or finding someone to do the school run, they’ll know exactly when their order will arrive.

Clearly displaying that you offer a next (or same) day delivery service, as well as perhaps a more convenient option is likely to help to reduce abandoned baskets.

This is because customers can see when their items will arrive, before they place their order.

Optimser WMS can help you organise your warehouse, improve picking speed, and increase accuracy to 100%, so you can send out more orders, quicker, so that customers get their purchases sooner.

4. Environmentally friendly delivery

Some customers are prepared to wait for their items, which helps to reduce the number of parcels they receive to just one.

  • Consumers can reduce their carbon footprint, and perhaps offset some of the guilt they may feel for buying online instead of locally

It can also be used effectively by those who prefer to order things well in advance, perhaps for birthday presents, clothes or seasonal products.

Another benefit of thinking about the environment is that your WMS can help make the entire process paperless, as picking and dispatch notes are no longer needed, because everything is online.

5. ‘Try before you buy’

As mentioned, ‘try before you buy’ is common with clothes, but is moving to other areas too.

  • Companies need to be ready to handle more returns, and able to refund customers quickly

The returns process can be streamlined using Optimiser, as it integrates with several ecommerce platforms including:

However, these platforms still rely on manual returns processing, even Amazon.

6. Delivery loyalty schemes appeal to customers

Although delivery loyalty schemes are not common, they are becoming increasingly popular.

  • Delivery loyalty schemes could be used to help increase customer loyalty towards a certain brand or retailer

They could also be used perhaps for product accessories, spares or consumables as well as for frequent low value purchases.

7. Luxury goods delivery experience

As previously mentioned, your courier is your company.

If you sell luxury goods, the packaging, and courier service really matter, and help to define, make or break the emotional experience.

We all know that high end watches don’t really need to come in huge boxes made from real wood, but it adds to the overall experience of the brand, the retailer and the product.

If you sell luxury items such as boutique guitars, designer dresses, or boxes of handmade chocolates, would your customers be happy if their purchase came in the same packaging and from the same courier as ‘cheaper’ and ‘lesser’ products?

  • If you sell expensive or luxury items, how else could you improve your customers’ experience on receiving their order

Should buyers of a luxury product get a ‘better delivery’ than buyers of a standard product?

If people do buy a premium version of your product, or you sell high end items, then perhaps providing nicer packaging and a ‘premium’ courier, with a fantastic reputation will all add to the experience.

This can make customers more likely to recommend you to others, share their experiences socially, and buy from you again.

  • Is there a gap in the market for a ‘better delivery’ experience for luxury purchases?

Optimiser can be set up to use rules for choosing couriers, so you can set up rules to use certain couriers for certain types of products, or single item orders over a certain value.

There is plenty of flexibility, so you can have the choice you need.

8. Communicate with customers

Communication is key when it comes to ecommerce.

Optimser can ensure that all your ecommerce platforms, such as Amazon, eBay and your ecommerce site, are integrated so that stock levels are accurate.

When you sell via Amazon, your eBay store and ecommerce site are updated, so you can’t sell more than you have.

  • Keeping customers informed of delivery status, and any delays is essential

People can deal with bad news, but only if they know about it.

Although AI and chatbots may be exciting technology and what the experts are predicting will happen, you can still impress your customers by passing order tracking details to your website and emailing customers with dispatch notice and tracking details.

9. Post Brexit- Britain

Overseas shipping is important for many retailers now, and we expect that it still will be important post-Brexit.

  • Clearly define your international shipping rates for your overseas customers

If they can’t find this information, they will try a competitor’s website.

The other important thing to remember, is caveat emptor (buyer beware), in terms of things like tax or customs charges, as is the case now for non-EU customers.

10. You can’t be complacent

Wji;st you might be doing well now, you can’t afford to rest on your laurels.

  • If you’re not moving forward, your going backwards, as your competitors are going forwards

You can’t be complacent, and think that because your warehouse and WMS was running as effectively and efficiently as possible a few years ago, it still is, and still will be in the future.

You might be missing out on a lot of technology and automation, and so might be working harder without sending out more orders.

Conclusion

The delivery options and courier service you use are just as important as your product and price.

Only offering a £4.99 3-day delivery service is no longer good enough.

Letting customers know that you don’t mind if they try before they buy, and are prepared for a lot of returns, can be also a good thing, and encourage impulse purchases, because  customers can buy, try and return things quickly and easily.

Want to know more about how Optimser Warehouse Management System can help you be better organised, increase picking speed and accuracy, and send out more orders?

Contact Us at 01270 500777 today, to tell us how we can help you.