Is anyone actually getting ahead or just following Amazon?


Is anyone actually getting ahead or just following Amazon?

November 28, 2018


By Paul Yewman

Amazon. Doesn’t matter what the question is, I increasingly find myself offering this up as the answer. Questions like these:

What’s driving customer expectation for faster, more flexible shipping? Amazon.

Why should retailers, brands and delivery companies take notice of every single part of their customers’ journey - from the store to front door? Amazon. 

What’s a good benchmark of success that we can use to make clear the urgency that’s required to ensure customer experience is a top priority for retailers as we head into 2019? Amazon. 

The Amazonification of things (yes, it has its own term now) is having a knock-on effect for us all. 

As customers demand more of their retailers, those retailers demand more of their delivery companies who, in turn, demand more of their technology partners. 

In other words, customer demand is driving the need for better delivery technology, to such a degree that, "shoppers care more about delivery method and speed than about who’s doing the actual delivering," according to a recent PWC Global Consumer Insights Survey.

The survey, Signed, Sealed, Delivered (and Regularly Returned), points out that nearly a quarter of consumers name fast and reliable delivery as a factor that persuades them to buy. 

Flipping that statistic on its head, a separate report by Convey found that, “84% are unlikely to shop with a brand again after a poor last mile delivery experience” and an incredible “98.1% of shoppers say delivery impacts their brand loyalty”. 

Ben Nowlan, chief revenue officer at delivery company On the dot, says retailers now face a crossroads of “follow or die”. “If you’re not implementing things like a seamless last mile experience then you’re already behind the pack,” he says.

The tracking experience is a great example of this. Customers don’t want to have to work hard to track down the location of their parcel, having come to expect technology will work in their favour and becoming less tolerant when it doesn’t. 

Partnerships are key to creating the seamless experience customers desire, a point on which I’ve been very vocal in the past few months. Nowlan agrees with me here too: “Other retailers are on the same journey. Opening yourself up to partners prevents you from having to reinvent the wheel.” 

In 2019 I predict deliveries will get smarter, not simply faster, as third party logistics companies look at where drivers are going to work out where they can do multiple drops and tie in collections too. More accurate data will drive this efficiency. 

Traditional retailers too need only open their eyes to see they have built-in advantages to exploit, giving them the ability to do what Amazon are doing yet better and faster since they have warehouses on every high street.

We’ve never been faced with more options to improve the delivery experience for customers.

This is only the beginning. 

Nicole Lyons