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Omni-channel: What’s next? Dynamic delivery pricing

May 15, 2015 by Jim Bengier, Chief Customer Officer

blog-omni-channel-amplify

When making a time sensitive purchase customers don’t
you want to know the cost of delivery before checkout?

Consumers are more demanding and educated than ever. At the IBM Amplify event this week, a good 80% of the attendees were looking for analytics and marketing solutions. Retail attendees understand they need to know their customers extremely well to be successful.

But, the tendency for most retailers is to shift their focus to the extreme too quickly. Following the buzz can be detrimental. Let’s look at some numbers…

At one session, “Your Omni-channel Report Card: How Omni are you,” four of the top ten capabilities were related to fulfillment and supply chain. That’s 40%. Analytics and marketing technology may be changing, but so is fulfillment technology. IBM has done a great job researching which retailers deliver the seamless customer experience.

And they’ve concluded that even the best retailer, Best Buy, still has a long way to go. Want to know how long they’ve been working on omni-channel?

15 years. You see, omni-channel, or customer touch point engagement as I call it, is an evolution, not a destination. Customers and technology are changing, and the pace is faster than ever. Take delivery costs for example…

That’s an area where I believe customers will drive retailers outside their box. Most retailers offer standard, expedited, or express delivery and some offer same day. Often they list delivery dates for each, but not the associated costs. Think about the following experience for a customer shopping on May 14:

Get it by:

Shipping TypeDelivery Date
FREEMay 27
ExpeditedMay 19
ExpressMay 18
See final shipping costs in checkout.

The customer does not know the cost of delivery until they are ready to push the Buy button. Why not? Because the prices for delivery in most cases are fixed, based on the carrier’s cost, with maybe a markup. They are not dynamic. Which is frustrating…

As a customer, I would like to know my delivery options and the related cost up front. It is nice to know that if I wait almost 2 weeks, the shipping is free, but retailers need to get more sophisticated with their delivery pricing. A customer should be able to decide how badly they need the item and the cost associated with that service when they are viewing an item, not just at checkout.

Convenience, service, and execution are necessary to meet the customer’s expectation. How well are you doing omni-channel?

Filed under: Omni-Channel