Is Logistics the new brand differentiator in today's modern world
No one goes to a restaurant where the waiters are rude, however good the food is. Industry giants, especially the ones that have no inventory of their own have one thing right: logistics. They liaise with reliable shipping partners who deliver goods on time to the customer.
How many times have we heard of people exclaim that a certain eCommerce company sells great products but that their logistics leaves a lot of scope for improvement? With time, people realize that the shipping services, packaging and several other logistics factors are as important as the product itself. After all, your usual restaurant is not a favorite just because they have great food, right? So, organizations know that brand building is also about logistics. When you sell something that is comparable with what your peer sells online, you need to make sure you stand apart with your logistics handling. And you also need to market that to your customers. With luck, this becomes your USP. It comes to a point where customers stick to you despite paying more because of your logistics reliability. For example, Amazon is a household name today not because of its competitive prices but because of its revolutionary delivery systems. One can order a product and get it the same day. Tomorrow, a drone delivery seems plausible with Amazon. People trust Amazon to deliver. Quite literally!
So, logistics is definitely the new brand differentiator.
Here are some moves that can help you build better logistics and thereby improve your brand:
Focus on your high selling products
Experts say 80 per cent of a company’s sales come from 20 per cent of its products. So, if you want to improve your overall reputation as an excellent logistics and operations seller, you need to focus on these high selling products. The rest, you can put on the back burner for a while. You can look at customer complaints with these product deliveries and look at resolving them first.
Do a SWOT analysis
Periodically, do a SWOT analysis. A SWOT analysis is one that tests your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This would help you understand where you lag behind in logistics and you can look at improvement in these areas. An external consultant can help you chalk it out neatly.
Perform Pilot projects
Have pilot projects where you scrap logistics ideas that do not work and enforce newer ideas. For example, it can be as simple as trying out a new shipping carrier for a certain product or area. If it works better than usual, it gives you an avenue to shift operations to a better carrier. You can try promoting free shipping for a minimum purchase limit. All these trial runs can be used as case studies.
Strengthening you Last Mile Delivery
It is a truism in the on-demand industry today that in the entirety of the supply-chain, it is the very last step that is the most crucial, as well as the most problematic of them all. Owing to its place in the fag-end of the chain, it is often referred to as the ‘Last-Mile Delivery’
Theon-line consumer today does not like waiting. He/she has come to believe that everything is just a click away. This need for ‘instant gratification’ is a hallmark of the digital age and it seems unlikely to change anytime soon. At the same time, the convenience of the on-demand experience for the customer is in stark contrast to the planning and effort that businesses have to make to make instant gratification possible.
The last-mile delivery is the most crucial step in the journey to the customer. At the same time, owing to all the costs, complications and unpredictable variations, it is admittedly the least fun part of your business too.
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