5 Tips for Shippers to Improve Freight Delivery to Meet Customer Expectations

Freight optimization benefits from technology.
Omnichannel retail has become a critical component in the modern world. It offers an opportunity to connect with customers online and in-person. It also gives retailers a chance to build better interactions and boost profitability. Unfortunately, poor freight delivery practices can undermine all these gains. Problems within replenishment practices will result in more “out of stock” items, angering customers, and sending them to your competitors. Meanwhile, business-to-business relationships may suffer. Instead of pushing your customers to the competition, retail shippers need to understand why customer expectations continue to change, how freight delivery and customer experiences are related, and a few tips to improve freight delivery and meet or exceed customer expectations.

Why Are Customer Expectations Changing?

Customer expectations continue to change as a result of Amazon and the demand for omnichannel services. Major retailers, including Target, Walmart, and Kohls, have successfully integrated online shopping into their base shopping strategies. Customers can review a product online, check it out in-store, order it to be sent to a third-party location, or follow that process in any fashion. According to Forbes Magazine, consumers turn to the Internet first when deciding to purchase something. Even if the purchase occurs within a store, customers are still likely to review similar items and read past customer experiences with the product. Failure to recognize this demand for information and omnichannel capabilities will result in customers that abandon their purchases. Another component contributing to changing customer expectations is the fact that Amazon continues to redefine what forms the best customer experience, up to and including free, next-day delivery on millions of items for Amazon Prime members.

The Balance Between Freight Delivery and Customer Experiences

Omnichannel consumers have a higher lifetime value than traditional customers, reports Multichannel Merchant. The use of digital media is expected to affect customers’ purchasing decisions and 58% of in-store sales by 2022. To fulfill orders, retailers need a robust replenishment strategy, as well as a clearly defined freight delivery schedule. In other words, retailers need the ability to see all product movements and understand when items will arrive, how they will arrive, how shipments can be changed before arrival, and more.

Tips to Bolster Freight Delivery for Faster, “Free-er” Service

To improve freight delivery processes, shippers need to rethink their fulfillment strategies. As reported by Logistics Management, some leading best practices to enhance such activities include:
  • Connecting supply chain assets to understand more about its current state.
  • Using data and analytics to understand what is happening, what will happen, what should happen, and how to make it happen.
  • Diversifying your carrier network to review more freight delivery options and secure better rates.
  • Automating shipment notifications and traceability, reducing customer concerns, and improving the perception of customer service.
  • Integrating supply chain platforms to avoid the challenges of silo data and deliver better customer experiences.

Secure Better Customer Experiences & Service Through Advanced Transportation Management

In the omnichannel arena, it can be challenging to build positive customer experiences. Shippers have traditionally relied on a linear supply chain, capable of seeing where the product derives, which customers want it, and more. Unfortunately, traditional approaches to supply chain management fall short in the modern age. To stay competitive, shippers must understand the problems and risks within their current freight delivery as it relates to omnichannel, work to improve supply chain processes, and leverage advanced transportation management techniques. Learn more about how your organization can get started with a reevaluation of its current practices and how to leverage a best-in-class transportation management system (TMS) now.

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Phil Melton
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