As shippers invest in the infrastructure needed to keep pace with today’s e-commerce logistics market, they shouldn’t forget to place as great an emphasis on customer service as they do on price and product.
While shippers have long emphasized their product offerings and prices as a key metric of success, the evolving nature of the logistics landscape is changing that. Although customers still keep an eye on the specifics of the products they’re purchasing and their price compared to similar offerings elsewhere, investing in the overall e-commerce customer experience is emerging as the primary way of attracting — and keeping — loyal shoppers.
In fact, a recent survey drives home this exact point. Research conducted by BluJay Solutions — titled “Focus on Customer Experience: Research on Supply Chain Priorities and Investments” — reveals interesting shifts taking place across the e-commerce market. For shippers determined to stake their claim in an environment seemingly dominated by giants such as Amazon, focusing not just on what customers are getting from you but how they are getting it has never been more important.
To that end, shippers need to consider where their priorities lie. While specific products and prices will certainly continue to play a critical role in market competition, building a supply chain that puts the customer experience front and center is no longer a luxury — it’s a necessity. For small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) considering how to make these investments possible, third-party logistics partners (3PLs) and integrated logistics service providers (ISPs) will continue to be a cost-effective and strategic choice.
The Results of the Customer Experience Survey
The “Focus on Customer Experience” report found a notable consensus among logistics stakeholders about the nature of market priorities. According to the report, 61% of survey respondents agree or strongly agree that customer experience will play a more important role than product and price as the primary brand differentiator over the next five years. Delivering an improved customer experience also became the main driver of supply chain innovation for 30% of respondents.
Additionally, the report noted that business intelligence and analytics, visibility and control tower, and transportation emerged as top investment focuses going forward. Greater electronic communication with trading partners also topped the survey as a defining factor in improved supply chain performance among multiple stakeholders.
What This Means for Shippers Committed to Supply Chain Innovation
For shippers committed to staking their claim in the e-commerce market, the results of this survey underscore the importance of investing in the customer experience, from the first touch to the last mile of delivery. Customers — now accustomed to the end-to-end visibility provided by online shipping giants and a steady stream of alerts and notifications about the status of their orders — expect a comprehensive experience that treats them as an equal in the fulfillment process.
Accordingly, shippers should invest in the digital and physical infrastructure necessary to offer their own customers these benefits. From greater online customer services resources to more advanced tracking technologies — such as the Internet of Things and visibility into OMS, WMS, and TMS software — shippers have considerable options at their disposal to make the customer experience more informed and participatory.
Our Emphasis on the E-Commerce Customer Experience
While larger operations may have the resources and capital to make these infrastructural investments on their own, the same can’t be said for SMBs carving out a niche for themselves in the wider e-commerce marketplace. However, that doesn’t mean that these shippers don’t have a critical role to play in delivering valued products to committed customers. Rather than attempt to go it alone, SMBs should consider how working with a 3PL or ISP can allow them to leverage the kind of digital and physical infrastructure needed to make the most of the e-commerce customer experience.
With a proven track record of success in the e-commerce space, Primary Logistics has the resources SMBs need to thrive in a competitive marketplace. Our award-winning customer service team and extensive domestic and international business relationships give shippers immediate access to the kind of resources necessary to succeed in e-commerce fulfillment. Whether you’re looking for a targeted logistics solution or a comprehensive e-commerce overhaul, the team at Primary Logistics is ready to help.
If you’d like to learn more about how award-winning shipping and logistics services from Primary Logistics and Primary Freight, contact us today at (800)-635-0013.