With the popularity of Online Shopping ever increasing, more and more customers are demanding visibility of their orders, from purchase confirmation through to delivery.
Online Retailers, don’t have the luxury of traditional “brick & mortar” shop fronts where customers physically visit their stores and sales staff on the ground greet, upsell and close the sale. The in-store experience impacts if the customer is likely to revisit, and make another purchase. Online Retail, has one physical touch point, which is the local delivery of the merchandise to the customer’s door. How does the Online Retailer, give the customer an enhanced experience without the sales staff in store?
One opportunity to increase the online customer experience is through Order Tracking portals and Smartphone Tracking applications. At time of dispatch, the customer is sent an email informing them of the dispatch date (Often called and Advanced Shipping Notice –ASN), and typically this also includes, date of shipment, order/airway bill number, the Transport Company, any relevant special instructions pertaining to the delivery, and finally a URL link to the Transport Companies Tracking home page. This link allows the receiver to search for information pertaining to the whereabouts of their order.
The Challenge with this approach is the differing Transport Companies tracking pages, and the inconsistency in which information is requested and presented. When the customer experiences these variations, the reality is that the online retailer has unintentionally abdicated responsibility for their order to the Transport Company, and the relationship between Online Retailer and consumer is lost.
One solution is to use a multi carrier order tracking solution that hosts all of the online retailers Transport providers, tracking information in one consistent, Online Retailer branded tracking portal. An example of this in the market today, is Interactive Freight Systems, SmartFreight Tracker product. The SmartFreight hosted, tracking portal, provides information about the order(s), both graphically and text based, which provides the order’s shipping events, in a logical sequence of events from time of dispatch, right through to delivery, including the electronic capture of the receivers name.
The inclusion of a multi carrier tracking solution into the online retailers supply chain strategy delivers both external customer and internal customer service, the ability to track numerous orders, via the branded tracking portal, allowing them to conveniently monitor the progress. Customers on the go, can also use an Android or iOS, Smartphone application that can track the shipment(s) and allow the renaming of the shipment order number to a descriptive word that is more meaningful to the customer (like mum’s birthday gift).
This approach to Track and Trace delivers a seamless end-to-end purchasing experience to the customer with only one party - the Online Retailer.
The Online Retailer benefits from engaging and owning the relationship with the consumer - from the point of visiting the website through to the customer receiving their order.
For more information on SmartFreight Tracker come pay us a visit at Multimodal, stand 1132
Posted on: 15/04/2015
Source: Multimodal 2015