The only consistent thing in fashion retailing is change. Today retailers find themselves being led by, rather than leading, the consumer, who dictates how they want to browse, buy, receive and return.
Stores have been reconfigured, websites are constantly updated to become more user friendly, social and personalised strategies have been developed, and that all too critical final mile is adapting too. However, there is work to do.
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You might be meeting customer expectations now, but are you looking ahead and asking ‘how will I meet those needs tomorrow?’ Adaptability is key, but change takes investment and crucially, that most precious resource, time. So understanding where the market is headed is critical.
Drapers exclusive report, Delivery and returns: Are you meeting customer expectations?, in association with Electio and On the dot, aims to identify some of the business critical trends you need to know about.
Look no further than the rise in demand for same day delivery. With competition rife, can you afford not to offer it?
Similarly, personalisation strategies have come right to the fore in fashion retail, so why does the delivery and returns end of the transaction lag behind? Personalised deliveries, appropriate to people’s location and working hours, could become a key differentiator and advantage in winning share of wallet.
Click-and-collect, one of the big retail success stories of the past few years is also adapting. The likes of Tesco and John Lewis now charge for the service, while etailers such as Asos and Missguided are using Asda’s store network via its ‘ToYou’ service. This all suggests that the market will continue towards convenience, but in a more sustainable way.
And are retailers missing a trick when it comes to maximising opportunities with branded delivery and returns communications? A bad delivery or returns experience is seldom associated with a carrier, so this will require a razor like focus from retailers.
Where efforts are being made to make deliveries more convenient, shouldn’t the returns process be just as easy, just as seamless? The challenge is making this happen while protecting margins.
And finally, with consumers more ethically aware than ever before, should retailers be thinking ahead towards more sustainable packaging, and then building that into their sales story?
Clearly, there are lots of questions but also some very valid areas to consider for investment.
To read in-depth features on all of these topics, click here and register to view the report for free.