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A perfect delivery package

Make sure your whole logistics process stacks up - from deliveries to returns - to keep customers happy,

Etailers are increasingly differentiating themselves by offering shoppers multiple delivery options - but they must partner with a delivery company that can deliver on the logistical front.

Depending on the type of retailer, different priorities apply when looking at delivery. Claire Muir, business development manager at logistics and fulfilment company Amethyst, explains: “If the retailer has a value proposition they’ll focus on price but a high-end etailer might want to instead focus on speed and quality of service.”

Retailers may also want to look at the type of packaging they use. A simple plastic bag will be a lot cheaper and less time consuming to send but a customer making an expensive purchase may expect appropriate high-end packaging.

The returns process also needs to be considered as well as multichannel integration of these processes. Although this can be costly to manage, dealing with returns effectively can have a real impact on cost efficiency and customer satisfaction. Tony Cooper, director of regional sales at logistics firm DHL Express, says: “An integrated approach to stock management and distribution is becoming more essential for today’s retailers who want to interact with customers across multiple channels.”

A less than impressive delivery experience, whether it is judged on time or quality, can have a detrimental effect on a retailer’s reputation. Cooper explains: “One bad delivery experience can drastically affect a consumer’s perception of a brand.”

Simple enhancements to a retailer’s site can greatly improve the logistical process and save huge costs. Muir suggests a postcode verifier to ensure all orders placed are from a correct address. In addition, actively promoting delivery and customer service contact details throughout the buying process, so customers know what to expect from delivery and who to call if they have a problem, is key.

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