Commerce Trends

by Manhattan Associates

GUEST BLOG: Are you delivering nightmares to big dreamers?

Let’s face it, delighting customers day after day isn’t easy; just as some retailers seem able to keep up with their customers by making a delivery within 30 minutes of the order being placed, now those customers are already looking for the next innovation – if I need ice in my drink, it should be delivered to my balcony by drone, and dropped straight into my gin and tonic!

Whether you are in the sub-30 minute delivery game or not, you are continuously trying to deliver on the promise you make to your customers – by making the whole order to delivery journey efficient and pleasurable. Not to mention, profitable.

Doing a follow-up with a new client

And there’s the problem: two pieces of recent research released by Manhattan Associates, when compared, show starkly that there is often a big gap between what customers expect and what retailers are able to deliver.

Speaking to over 1,000 consumers, Manhattan found 57% wanted two hour Click and Collect services and 48% craved same day delivery, but in research among 50 retailers, 8 out of 10 are currently unable to offer two hour click and collect or same day delivery services.

Another disconnect was revealed in the finding that 83% of shoppers say delivery reliability will increase their loyalty to a retailer, but 8 out of 10 retailers don’t feel they have accurate inventory visibility all the time.

Fortunately, the research showed that there is no lack of ambition on the part of retailers to do better. Speeding up Click and Collect through real-time inventory visibility is retailers’ number one priority over the next 6-9 months. However, not all were realistic about what it will take to achieve this; only 2% plan to upgrade their legacy systems to cope, and 37% still treat their channels separately.

Put simply, this won’t work. Thinking big but lacking the infrastructure to deliver – and possibly also the will to change it – will create big problems for retailers, for consumers will continue to dream about better service and delivery.

By Chris Field