With Christmas just around the corner and customers expecting to receive their goods on time, how can choosing the right logistics partner help retailers meet customer expectations and put them on a path to growth, within the context of a D2C strategy?
The last mile of a delivery journey is the moment of truth. The transportation of goods may have gone smoothly from leaving the factory floor, but if a brand’s chosen last-mile carrier falls at the final hurdle, then the risk of customer dissatisfaction increases. The performance of delivery in the final mile determines customer happiness, or lack of, and this in turn determines whether that customer returns to shop with the brand again.
Planning for this final mile needs to be factored into brands’ considerations for their overall logistics journey. For brands, there are many elements to take into account when seeking a partner to support their last-mile logistics, all of which make a difference in terms of customer satisfaction and retention.
These elements include finding a partner which has:
- The right geographical coverage
- The right last-mile carriers on board who can support the customer, should issues arise
- The right strategic focus and the means to invest in the customer and support growth
Without an adequate setup for the final mile, there is a risk that a brand’s customer will leave them – and potentially share negative word of mouth about their experience, causing the brand to lose further customers.
According to Retail Sector, the last mile of the delivery process is “the most memorable point” in the transaction and that the “doorstop moment provides a significant opportunity for retailers to invest in extending their brand experience to the customer.”
Maersk, through the power and expertise of its global team, is building the fulfilment and delivery network for planet earth. Brands which have embraced a D2C sales setup can, through partnership with Maersk, unlock the key to increasing customer satisfaction and retention – through the peak season and beyond.
Delivering to, and delighting, consumers
Quality, cost, and accuracy are the key drivers of consumer experience. If a brand can deliver on all three – high quality, low cost and high accuracy – the chances are they will have a satisfied customer who will share positive word of mouth about the service they have received, and who will return to shop direct with the brand again.
Forbes notes that the last-mile industry is “challenged more than most with cost management” and that “delivery volumes are likely to remain high with unpredictable peaks.” Against this backdrop, brands need to increase efficiencies to ensure customers receive their goods at the right time, whilst delivering with speed and at the lowest available cost.
To be able to choose the right carrier in every country - or even part of a country - allows brands to upgrade the delivery experience around quality, cost and accuracy, whilst selecting the most appropriate carrier depending on changing circumstances.
Maersk, with its access to trusted global last-mile partners, is able to deliver a high-quality service to its retail customers, allowing brands to delight their customer bases, scale their businesses, and streamline their logistics.
Better quality, lower cost, and higher accuracy = customer retention.
Having the right last-mile carrier, delivering the goods in the right quality at the right cost and with the right accuracy, is key to enabling brands to deliver on their customer promises – and this is also crucial to developing and operating a successful D2C sales strategy.
Taking a joined-up approach
Maersk’s unrivalled network and logistics expertise means that brands operating worldwide can feel supported through global fulfilment and delivery solutions which actively support their D2C sales strategies.
Through providing the right inventory management and omnichannel fulfilment solutions, in tandem with effective last-mile logistics, brands can enhance their D2C strategies. These solutions are designed to scale as you grow, meaning your fulfilment, delivery and returns can be looked after to the same high quality as your demands increase.
We have multiple options for last-mile carriers, which is a positive for the brands we work with – knowing that we have a robust global network, with strategies in place to suit the needs of different retailers, depending on their products and customers.
It is this network and understanding which enables Maersk to bring agility and resilience to last-mile logistics. There is no one set golden formula to last-mile logistics; rather, it’s about finding the right partner to help you scale and grow.
Maersk is a key partner in our multi-carrier model. Because of Maersk, we can search for new markets and enter them easily.
Bringing last-mile delivery up to speed
The market is currently contending with a need for speed. The race is on for transport logistics and delivery companies, and it’s driven by a few dominant, third-party platforms and marketplaces.
The current mindset, particularly in Europe, is that if something is ordered today, it will be delivered tomorrow. Consumers are increasingly expecting next-day delivery as standard, but this is setting unrealistic expectations in e-commerce and is, in part, leading to a poor standard of delivery in the last mile.
With sustainable thinking high on brands’ commercial agendas, and realistic timelines better serving consumer needs, how necessary is the expectation for speed? There is not always value in getting goods tomorrow – it is not always a requirement, but more of a preference, or an option served up as the better choice at checkout.
Rather, brands should be focusing on delivering with accuracy and at the right speed for the product and customer in question. Customers, of course, require clarity over their product’s journey and delivery timeline, but speed does not equal a high-quality service.
According to McKinsey, around a quarter of consumers would pay a premium for same-day delivery, but 70% are content with the cheapest form of home delivery. This clearly demonstrates that speed and quality are not synonymous – rather, that the arrival of goods at the right time and at the right cost is what customers are really looking for from brands.
At Maersk, we provide factory-to-sofa supply chain support, meaning that brands’ entire logistics journeys are looked after by a team with global expertise and regional and local knowledge. Putting a brand’s goods in the hands of the wrong carrier can jeopardise all-important customer relationships, which is why this stage of transportation is so crucial.
With an unrivalled global footprint and the capability to provide brands with a factory-to-sofa supply chain, Maersk is supporting global brands with unmatched fulfilment and delivery solutions to supercharge their D2C e-commerce strategies.
To learn more, visit E-Commerce Logistics & Order Fulfilment Services | Maersk
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