In this digital era, customers have more choices than ever before. Thus, for online retailers, it has become increasingly important to provide them with exceptional products and services. If your business wants to succeed, it needs to differentiate itself. You are not the only business selling a particular product. For example, if you sell handicrafts, then you are not the only one dealing in handicrafts. There will be hundreds of e-commerce stores working in the same niche as yours. This gives buyers a lot of options and sellers a little window to make a sale. This is why businesses need to have a customer-centric supply chain approach to gain a competitive edge.
The vital part of developing a customer-centric supply chain is to start from the customers’ perspective. That is, you need to determine how your products appear to and interact with your targeted customer base. This is based on the price, quality, availability, features, and purpose of the product. Internally, you need to assess the various policies and processes within your supply chain to deliver the promise and create positive, powerful experiences for your audience.
The following are the keys to creating a customer-centric supply chain:
#1 Real-Time Visibility
Customers want visibility throughout the entire fulfillment flow. While it is a double-edged challenge, providing them with insights like, accurate ETA, real-time order tracking, update customers when their order is in staging, and more can make the customers feel connected with your brand. To achieve this, you need to establish a robust delivery management platform. This will enhance the last mile delivery experience of the customers and give them real-time information about the whereabouts of their products being ordered.
#2 Own your Branding
Building a brand from scratch that stands out is no easy task. And ensuring that the customers see your brand from the start until it is in their hands is challenging. To own your branding, you need to ask yourself several questions:
- What should your brand look like?
- How should it make your target customers feel?
- Will it resonate with your target market?
Branded order updates and tracking will etch your brand in the customer’s mind. Most importantly, it is vital to use the same delivery management software to send notifications and tracking details. You can also use it to collect customer feedback as well.
#3 Customer Support
For the support team to cater to customer queries and questions in a timely manner, they need to be updated with the latest information. Real-time access to delivery information provides the customer support team with all the useful information so that they can attend to the customers with ease. When customer support has access to accurate information, the end customers will get full transparency regarding their products.
#4 Convenient pickup experiences
To make online deliveries more convenient for customers, aspects like drive-thru pickup, click & collect, and curbside pickup should be complemented with information that directs customers to wait at the right location for their order. The key to its success is not to make customers wait too long for their order. If something’s wrong with the pickup location, you can direct the customers to look for alternative locations.
The key to attaining a customer-centric supply chain lies in expanding the core of your fulfillment options.