As with all retailers, the challenge is figuring out what your customers want, providing them with that, then exceeding customer expectations. Part of that challenge is down to fulfillment, delivery options, buyer experience, and the call for more personalized services, all of which have been hot topics in the retail world of late. As retailers continue to explore the balance between accessibility and speed one thing is clear - customer expectations are demanding greater convenience to buy and receive orders.
At Brightpearl’s Emerging Trends In Independent Fashion Retail event, a panel discussion was held between the Bay Area’s leading retail minds; Tim Schulz from Bigcommerce, Robert Gilbreath from ShipStation, Mika Uehara from SF FASHTECH and Angela Tsay from Oaklandish.
We’ve got a clip from the panel which discusses customer expectations around the retail delivery experience including; Amazon drones, same day delivery and the importance of customer delivery notifications. Check out the clip below:
How do you expect buyer expectations to evolve this year around the delivery experience?
Robert Gilbreath, VP of Marketing at ShipStation started discussions off mentioning the inevitable Amazon drones:
“We all think there will be drones delivering packages by the end of the year.” Initially, Amazon drones were thought to be an unrealistic dream, but Amazon are taking the patent application very seriously and are working through the technical obstacles which stand in their way. They are setting a tone for retail delivery experience which fashion retailers need to embrace to stay competitive.
“Consumers don’t have the same expectation between the delivery of a case of toilet paper and a fine scarf or watch. As a retailer you need think about where you fit into that mix and decide if customers should get [deliveries] next day, or not.”
For fashion retailers, big fashion brands are responding to the demand for delivery convenience. The likes of Macy's, Timberland and Marks and Spencer are offering click-and-collect services and are piloting different delivery options such as same day delivery. Small to mid-sized fashion retailers need to think about adapting to the landscape of click-and-collect and next day deliveries as it becomes more mainstream.
As an added bonus, according to Mintel’s 2015 Customers Trends Report 64% of consumers shop more in-store due to services such as click-and-collect. By offering such convenient services retailers have the ability to drive footfall into stores via the retail delivery experience.
Robert continues; “Some of the local delivery services which are popping up seem like they could be pretty interesting for fashion retailers, especially those with a brick-and-mortar presence, being able to have a local company delivering a good from the brick-and-mortar to you that same day in a more personal way than UPS.”
As a similar example, Google Express allows you to shop your local stores and to get items delivered on the same day or overnight which has been a hit in San Francisco, particularly a big success with larger retailers.
During the panel discussion, Angela Tsay, CEO and Creative Director of Oaklandish explains how she’s witnessed Oaklandish customer expectations reaching a higher threshold for communication of order and delivery status. Communication is important to make sure the customer knows the progress of their shipment, reassuring them that the hard earned money they spent with you is being looked after. Oaklandish deals with these concerns by setting customer expectations - keeping the customer well informed of the whereabouts of their order and not over promising. You can find out more about Oaklandish by watching their customer story video here.
If you have anything to add to the discussion, or you'd like to ask a question, please comment below.