From click-and-collect to effortless returns and free shipping, in this article we’ll take a closer look at three key areas of logistics that many retailers struggle to get right, or fail to offer at all.
Whatever your store sells, you’ll need to make sure you have the right logistics strategy in place. At the end of the day, all that time and effort you spend getting people to buy from your site will all be for nothing if the overall customer experience falls short of expectations.
Here are three key questions to consider when assessing your retail logistics strategy.
1. Is your returns policy flexible and frictionless?
No matter how great your products are, you need to offer customers the ability to make returns. Within Europe, 38% of internet users say an easy returns policy is a feature that is most likely to increase their likelihood of buying a product.1 The Middle East and Africa boast a similar 34% of internet users feeling the same way.2
And across the whole of EMEA, a frictionless shopping experience (including easy returns and delivering to a variety of locations), improves customer retention rates.3
You’ll need to offer a high degree of flexibility in where customers can return your products as well. Studies within this market show that consumers expect consistent levels of service between digital and physical channels.4
Allowing customers to order online and return in store can be a good way to help bridge the gap between your digital and physical presence.
2. Can you compete on delivery costs?
Another big consideration is how consumers in your market tend to buy products, and ultimately take receipt of them.
In Europe, almost a third of all shoppers prefer delivery to their front door – with 31% saying 'next day delivery' would make them more likely to buy a product.5 In the UAE, 38% of internet users go as far as saying that it would most increase their likelihood of buying a product.6
Bear in mind though, many European shoppers say that free delivery it vital for them to have a good online shopping experience. This includes 70% of internet users in Germany, 67% of internet users in Norway, and 41% of internet users in the Netherlands.7 This means that free delivery actually trumps speed of delivery.
3. If you have a physical store, can customers collect orders from it?
People love shopping online, but they still like dropping into stores. Especially ones local to them. Retail searches for “__ near me” or “__ near me now” in EMEA were up by more than 225% in 2018, compared to 2016.8
59% of retailers worldwide either currently offer or plan to offer click and collect services to their customers in the next 12 months.9 On top of this, customers have stated that they have made additional impulse purchases when making a click and collect pickup (16% and 18% in France and Germany respectively, for instance).10 This can be something to leverage for a potential uplift in sales.
Remember to tell your customers
As you develop a logistics strategy, you’ll need to make sure it’s clearly reflected across your website and marketing materials. One way to check how well you’re doing this, is by performing a site audit – and making sure customers know about your excellent delivery and returns policy at every touchpoint.