3 ways to make sure your logistics strategy delivers, every time

March 2019

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. In the UK alone, 40% of internet users say an easy returns policy is the feature most likely to increase their likelihood of buying a product1.

And across the whole of EMEA, a frictionless shopping experience (including easy returns and delivering to a variety of locations), improves customer retention rates2.

You’ll need to offer a high degree of flexibility in where customers can return your products as well. Almost two-thirds (63%) of consumers in the UK now expect consistent levels of service between digital and physical channels3.

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 the UK, shoppers prefer delivery to their front door – with 42% saying 'next day delivery' would make them more likely to buy a product4.

Bear in mind though, UK shoppers are used to low shipping costs when purchasing within Europe, and are more likely to hit ‘Buy’ when free shipping is offered on standard delivery. So much so, that low cost or 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 the UK5 were up by more than 190% in 2018, compared to 20166.

60% of internet users in the UK have also used a click-and-collect service for their digital purchases7. In fact, searches for retail brands and products in the UK that offer click-and-collect rose by over 25% between 2016 and 20188.

Whatever you do, don’t underestimate the value of getting your delivery proposition right. Nearly two-thirds (64%) of British shoppers report purchasing goods from one retailer over another, based on the delivery options offered9 – and 73% say that free delivery is important for a good online shopping experience10.

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.

You can also use the free Grow my Store tool, which will do all the hard work for you. Simply enter your URL and it will assess your website on up to 22 different customer experience metrics, including logistics.

Scale vs. curation: The tension at the heart of retail