Commerce Trends

by Manhattan Associates

Can the Supply Chain directly affect Customer Loyalty?

I shop online; a lot….it’s convenient, easy.  The frustrating part has to be waiting for my purchases to arrive.  But, that’s just the way ecommerce is, and is never going to change; there will always be a wait.  However, when the wait is short….a few hours….a day I get the same rush of excitement as I did when I pressed the buy now button.

Woman_Shopping_Online

The supply chain is essential; it brings the market and products together and directly affects customer loyalty.  Just looking at the demand for click’n’collect shows how crucial the supply chain is in satisfying customer wants, and now that we have all had a taste of getting our purchases quicker, we want more.  But research by Manhattan Associates found that amongst UK retailers 81% are currently unable to offer two hour click and collect.  Some are still struggling with next day delivery because of using expensive couriers, negatively impacting on their profits. But nonetheless, even though they are facing these margin erosions, they are delivering the service in a bid to win customer loyalty.

I admire that, but as a consumer I also want them to do well financially – it benefits the economy and keeps variety / choice of products for me.  Putting my supply chain hat on, I also know there is a solution to shrinking profit margins; a single view of available inventory, regardless of where it is within the supply chain.

Having this single view of available inventory in real time and being able to fulfil orders from the most profitable point within the supply chain directly impacts customer loyalty, positively.  It means consumers can get their purchases faster and in a way that suits their lifestyle.  For the retailer, it means bigger margins and more revenues, ultimately, it’s win win.