Happy customer, happy business.
It’s an old adage but one that rings true even with all the changes that have occurred in retail. Whether you’re running a brick-and-mortar store or e-commerce business, enabling shoppers to conveniently buy quality goods at affordable prices will always earn you plaudits.
In other words, keep customers happy and they will keep coming back.
Brand equity is essential for any business. Not only are shoppers more likely to buy from a brand they know, but it also boosts the perceived value of that brand because of the positive elements around it.
What more and more retailers are finding is that the use of technology can help build brand loyalty, over and above the obvious advantage of streamlining the order fulfilment process.
In particular, they have found that last-mile delivery tech has a profound impact on gaining and retaining customers.
The click-and-collect model, where people buy an item online and collect it from a pickup point, is proving especially effective in this regard.
South Africa’s Pargo, for example, works with a range of retail clients, among them Wellness Warehouse, Woolworths, Clicks, HomeChoice, Loot, Edgars, and Cape Union Mart, to offer this service.
“These retailers have been able to boost their offering and increase brand equity by implementing the Pargo Click & Collect solution as it provides customers with a convenient and flexible delivery option,” says the Cape Town company’s co-founder Lars Veul.
“This model allows customers to collect their orders at a time and location that suits them, making the overall shopping experience more convenient and enjoyable. This has led to increased customer satisfaction and repeat business for retailers”.
Additional brand value for the business offering the service is created in that shipping fees are less, the process is more secure and reliable than home or office delivery, and customers are not left wondering when or even if a courier will arrive.
Veul acknowledges that some retailers may be reluctant to implement such tech, believing it may be too costly. They may also feel that their existing delivery options do the job, so changing what works does not make sense.
To address these concerns, Pargo provides a solution that integrates with existing systems and processes for the purposes of support, training, and guidance. The technology also allows for real-time tracking and monitoring of orders, providing retailers with control over the entire delivery process.
Order fulfilment is vital if a business is to keep and gain new customers.
Should stock run out it’s safe to say that shoppers will go somewhere else, never to return.
Managing inventory and demand and logistics planning needs to be top priority if the process is to go off without a hitch. The system should include end-to-end tracking and integration with suppliers and vendors. Furthermore, if any delays do occur customers must be notified immediately.
Business owners should also expect that even their best efforts may sometimes go awry. In those instances, they should be quick to assure shoppers that the error will be rectified without delay. Ultimately, order fulfilment is simply another way to build consumer confidence and enhance a brand’s reputation.
Veul says it is also important to continually check back with customers on how they feel about the service they receive, as it is their experience that will keep them loyal to a brand.