As we enter the “last mile” of the holiday season, we decided to take a look at some of the ways you can optimize the “last mile” of your customer experience. This is one of the more complicated parts of running a retail business. It’s also where an effective multichannel retailer can beat out online-only retailers and traditional, brick-and-mortar retailers (no matter how large they are).
Click and Collect Strategy
Many retailers see Amazon as their biggest competitor, fearing that Amazon will bankrupt them. (At least the retailers who don’t use Amazon to sell.) This article dives into “click and collect” strategy (a.k.a. “buy online, pickup in store”), and how it empowers you to compete against giant marketplaces like Amazon. It touches on a less-talked-about disadvantage that online-only retailers have. It describes how, if you can create a multichannel selling experience that integrates the online and offline experience, you’re giving consumers what the really want. It’s a great look at the challenges and opportunities for multichannel retail, and it includes anecdotes from a real company.
Retailers big and small are coming to the realization that you have to be multichannel (this article uses “omnichannel”) to be successful. This article takes a look at Macy’s and their progress implementing same-day delivery. It’s all about managing your store inventory effectively, so that you can ship from down the street, instead of from a fulfillment center across the country. The fact that a major retailer like Macy’s is putting so much effort into this initiative should really help justify it for you. We’ll try not to say, “we told you so.”
Amazon is raising the consumer expectations bar again. They’ve launched a service for one- and two-hour deliveries for Prime members. Yes, the service very limited in terms of geography and product availability. But, that will change eventually. This should be another sign that you need to optimize that last mile of your customer experience. Amazon has played a huge part in changing consumers’ expectations at a macro level. That’s why so many retailers are working on “same day deliver” (see previous link). Now, they are pushing it to the next level.
Happy holidays from nChannel.
The year is winding down, and we hope your holiday season has been a successful one. We’ll be here to help take you to the next level, in 2015. nChannel wishes you, your families, your friends, and your dedicated co-workers happy holidays. We thank you for being part of our community.