Most people can agree that one of the biggest hassles of moving is transporting big and heavy items like furniture. That’s why moving inevitably leads to new furniture purchases and why retailers play an important role in the moving process. By providing exceptional delivery experiences during a stressful time, retailers can convert new neighbors into loyal long-term customers.
The seamless delivery experiences new residents want don’t just happen. Retailers must understand the challenges standing in the way, such as the cost of delivery, technological shortcomings and complex logistical processes. Rather than address these problem areas alone, retailers can use a friendly and professional delivery partner to confidently offer the relief that stressed-out new residents need.
In-House Delivery is Expensive
One barrier to providing a seamless experience is that delivery, especially for big and heavy items like furniture, is expensive. Additionally, customer expectations continue to rise. For example, fast delivery is a must: 96% of customers consider “fast delivery” to mean same-day delivery. However, without making the investments necessary to offer this expedited service, the overall experience will likely suffer in quality.
70% of customers are likely to form a negative impression of a retailer if the delivery experience is poor, according to a report by ShipStation. To provide a high-quality delivery experience, retailers have to factor in fuel costs, delivery driver compensation, technology, customer support and any potential hiccups that may occur in the last mile delivery process.
With this in mind, it makes sense why the last mile accounts for 53% of the total cost of shipping. Retailers can save costs by partnering with a third-party delivery provider that excels in creating top-tier delivery experiences. In this way, retailers only have to pay for each delivery, versus having to maintain their own fleet of on-call delivery drivers and navigate overall customer expectations in the process.
Finding a Trustworthy Delivery Partner
It can be difficult for retailers to employ their own team of delivery drivers. Customers expect a reliable team who can provide the same-day scheduled delivery experience they want. However, not just any delivery provider will do. The key to overcoming challenges and satisfying customers who are moving is finding a partner that has proven themselves to be trustworthy and reliable.
Retailers may be hesitant to outsource services to a delivery partner, given the partner represents their brand by working directly with customers. This is important to consider since nearly three-quarters of poor deliveries will result in a customer likely to stop recommending the retailer.
On the other hand, a reliable delivery partner can actually exceed customer expectations and extend the quality of a retailer’s brand. To achieve this, it’s imperative to properly vet potential partners through research, such as reading reviews about their delivery processes and getting to know the quality of their work and brand. For example, a mattress brand will want a delivery partner that will go the extra mile by carrying a mattress to the appropriate room in a customer’s house. Or, baby furniture stores could partner with a delivery provider that offers in-home assembly upon delivery.
Updating Technology Processes
Moving is a stressful time for customers. Something as simple as transparency and the ability to track their furniture delivery can go a long way in alleviating stress. In order to successfully achieve this, retailers need the right technology.
The technology a retailer uses can make or break a delivery experience. Many retailers don’t always have access to the most updated technology. This will not only negatively impact their customer’s experience but can result in logistical issues such as poor order visibility and scheduling issues caused by miscommunication.
Let’s say a customer moving in a matter of days is hoping to receive a bed delivery on the day of their move-in, expecting to stay that first night in their new home. This situation could play out poorly if the delivery provider ends up not being able to deliver it on the selected day. With the right technology, a brand can provide consistent updates on the status of the delivery, ensuring the customer is aware of the bed’s likely delivery window.
A preferred delivery partner with the technological expertise to ensure these pitfalls are avoided is critical. With advanced delivery technology, customers receive transparency in their delivery from start to finish.
Establishing Clear Communication
When a customer who is moving isn’t provided clear communication regarding the delivery of their item, it can impact whether or not they will purchase from that retailer again. However, providing clear communication can sometimes be difficult when delivering large household items, given the added layer of managing the size of the delivery. With the rapid pace of moving items from a retailer’s store floor to the delivery vehicle and then to the correct destination, many points need to be communicated with a customer so they know where their item is in the delivery process. Additionally, the various people involved beyond the delivery, like store associates, add another level of complexity and a greater need for clear communication.
Even with many layers of complexity, new residents still expect flexible delivery options that work with their schedule. To provide an elevated delivery experience, retailers should consider the key touch points that are critical to communicating with a customer, including a delivery schedule confirmation, updates on delivery status and a post-delivery feedback survey.
83% of shoppers expect regular communication about their orders. To make this happen, there needs to be an easily accessible point of contact where customers can message the delivery or customer support team with questions or changes to their delivery. These teams should respond efficiently to keep the customer updated on the delivery status. Having an efficient communication system for deliveries also means that potential delays or issues can be communicated. For instance, a customer who is moving would want to know if their dining table will be delivered on time so they don’t have to eat on the floor of their new home.
Meeting the Needs of New Residents
Retailers have a golden opportunity to assist new residents with a seamless ecommerce delivery experience by understanding these challenges and how to overcome them. Additionally, when special attention is paid to the delivery process, there is the potential for new customers to turn into loyal shoppers. A best-in-class last mile delivery partner can provide the technology, delivery professionals and customer support to extend the quality of a retailer’s brand and create elevated delivery experiences to exceed customer expectations during a move.
Brian Kava is CEO of PICKUP, an enterprise-grade last mile delivery solution for leading retailers, commercial and industrial businesses, with a client list including HomeGoods, AtHome and HomeSense. Kava is a recognized leader with 20 years of experience in generating consumer and brand awareness, maximizing product visibility and developing sales and marketing strategies for some of the world’s most renowned brands, including Walmart, Google, Amazon, Home Depot, Whirlpool, Nike and Microsoft. He has spearheaded multiple operational transformations, developed technology platforms into industry-leading differentiators and maintains an uncompromising focus on high quality standards, employee-centric culture and customer satisfaction.