4 ways delivery drives Digital CX

Fulfillment matters more than you think.

DigitalCX drives delivery
Whether or not she buys those glasses as well as a beach bag may depend on whether your digital strategy includes delivery.

When retailers talk about ‘Digital CX’, typically they’re referring to a front-office function, like Marketing or eCommerce. Supply chain and logistics? Not so much. But the truth is, delivery is just as much a digital experience as physical. And it starts well before the ‘Buy’ button. Let’s take a look at how delivery drives Digital CX during browsing and checkout.

Browsing

When most people think about delivery, they think ‘after checkout,’ right? Once you’ve placed an order, that’s where delivery begins. But really, it starts much earlier.

1. Product availability on the Product Detail Page (PDP)

If a customer comes to your site with an intent to buy, there is typically a reason for the purchase. A need, maybe a life event–and an expected timeframe. When they get to the Product Details Page (PDP), they don’t just want to know whether the item is in stock. They also want to know when they can get it. Does your delivery speed meet their needs? Your ability to provide that information can make or break a sale. But availability of the primary item isn’t the only digital experience impacted by delivery.

2. Dynamic product recommendations

Delivery can drive product recommendations too. What does that mean? Say your customer, let’s call her Rachael, is looking at a beach bag. Of course you’d like to sell her more than a single bag! Maybe a wide brimmed hat, sunglasses, a sundress, or a towel? So you show her some complimentary products below the main item on the PDP. Perfect. But here’s the catch.

If Rachael selects an item that’s not in stock at the same location as the beach bag, it will result in a split shipment. And that will lower your margin on the order. But if the digital experience you provide to Rachael is driven by delivery, you can keep split shipments to a minimum. How?

By limiting what you recommend—but not in a bad way. What if the only complimentary products shown on the PDP were in-stock at the same location as the beach bag? That way the additional products could be shipped from the same location. No ‘Split Shipment’ required. Great! But what if Rachael then wants to pick her beach bag up in a store? Can you change your recommendations dynamically?

If you use fulfillment data from an Order Management System (OMS) to drive those recommendations, you can. While your initial cross-sell recommendations might include items that were in-stock at both distribution centers and stores, this can be updated on the fly for a personalized Digital CX.

That means when Rachael selects a store, the list of complementary products changes. Now it just shows items that are in-stock at a particular store. So if Rachael ends up buying one, she can pick it up at the same time as her beach bag. And you avoid ‘Ship to Store’ or ‘Home Delivery’ waits and costs.

Checkout

Customers want more delivery options during checkout. While next-day and same-day delivery are hot topics, there are other trends too. Ones that don’t include expedited shipping costs, but each has their own digital journey. Let’s look at two.

3. ‘Deliver After’ date

Imagine Rachael is on her holiday, enjoying the sun. Suddenly she remembers something she needs to buy. The trick is, if she orders right away it may arrive before she’s home. If she doesn’t, she might forget to order it in time. But what if she could select a ‘Deliver after’ or ‘Don’t deliver before’ date.

The digital journey for this option might include a reminder email or text before you ship. Is this still a good date? Do you need to change it? It’s another way to create a convenient shopping experience without the high cost of expedited shipping. But what if your customers are more interested in sustainability than convenience?

4. ‘Green Delivery’ options

For your environmentally conscious customers, do you offer more sustainable options? Can your customers choose a delivery method or delayed delivery option designed to reduce the carbon footprint of their delivery? Some ideas might include:

  • Delivery by traditional or electric bike
  • Waiting until another order is being delivered to their local area
  • Not shipping until their order can use an existing trucking route for longer segments of the delivery journey

There are many ways to offer ‘green delivery,’ so get creative. Even better, some of them will reduce your costs too. But if you’re going to offer these options, take full advantage of the Digital CX opportunity. Let them know how much your brand is helping the environment. And how much you appreciate their choice. Use it as a way to build a stronger relationship with your customer, and ultimately, brand loyalty.

The Challenge

The problem with all these delivery inspired digital pathways is that a typical eCommerce platform or Order Management System wasn’t designed to support them. It takes a flexible OMS that:

  • Provides the dynamic fulfillment data your eCommerce platform needs without impacting site speed
  • Lets you customize your business processes to keep up with the ever-changing needs of today’s consumers

Fluent Order Management was purpose built to meet both these requirements, and more. For more information on how it can help drive your Digital CX, schedule a demo today.

By Nicola Kinsella

Jan 31, 2020