We have known for some time that digital transformation is forcing companies to evolve their product distribution processes; the customer’s demand for an increasingly high customer experience in terms of quality and speed is redesigning traditional business logics, and this means that more and more tools arise at the service of new expectations.
Consumer choices, in recent years, have been strongly influenced by digital devices; the use of smartphones and the development of web 2.0 have fueled the expectation that brands will be able to offer exactly what the consumer wants in the precise moment in which he seeks it.
The dynamics generated by the pandemic events of recent years have enhanced this trend by transforming it into a buying habit. The consumer wants access to an infinite catalog of products, expecting faster and faster deliveries. In the peak pandemic period, Quick-Commerce, which allows you to order a product online by receiving it at home in less than an hour, have gained so much strength that they create new standards of immediacy in the customer.
The catalogs are interconnected with each other, and are multiplied in countless platforms: social, company websites, marketplaces.
But this expectation, today, no longer concerns only the digital purchase: even physical stores can offer a very similar service.
This is the concept of endless aisles, which involves the use of solutions that allow customers to browse or virtually order a wide range of products that are out of stock or no longer available in each location, and which are then shipped to the store itself or directly to their home.
Thanks to these solutions, brands can welcome their customers in small spaces, guaranteeing them the maximum offer with a catalog without borders, able to recover the entire availability of existing products.
It is immediately evident how complex the customer’s desires are to achieve for companies that have to do with product shortages and supply chain production chains with critical issues in the production phase and in the management of sourcing.
Expectations have not only increased regarding the mode of choice, which must be as frictionless as possible. The other major theme is defined by a new KPI generated in the last period: the speed of sending. It measures the responsiveness with which a company is able to process an order and deliver it into the hands of the courier to ensure that it reaches its destination.
A metric on which companies are called to answer and which, in the near future, will increasingly represent an element of evaluation by the customer towards retailers.
Another fact not to be overlooked is the importance that the product is handled in logistics with care, taking care of delicacies and particularities; the handling part of the product, which is often overlooked, represents one of the elements of greatest added value.
This is especially true in the fashion world, where respect for the shape of the garment worn, or respect for the packaging regarding products such as accessories, footwear, etc., makes a big difference in terms of quality: it allows luxury products to arrive in the hands of the consumer exactly as they were designed by the designer.
These issues determine the rethinking not only of business models, but also of the structures, processes and possible automations to be carried out in the logistics field.
All this alongside the urgent environmental issues, which call for attention to waste and the adoption of an overall vision of sustainability, and which seem almost irreconcilable with what today the consumer has become accustomed to obtaining in terms of service.
Do solutions exist that can support evolution?