Excited to hear the latest industry updates, Julie Shennan, CCL’s Content Marketing Manager visited IRX (Internet Retailing Expo) on 24 May. Here she recounts the key themes of the show, including supply chain resilience, delivery choice, post-purchase experience and sustainability.
Supply Chain Resilience
Opening the keynote, Adam Warne CIO of River Island summarised some of the challenges that retailers and manufacturers had faced over the last year.
He said: “In the last 12 months we have had higher interest rates, we’ve had record-breaking inflation, we’ve had the war in Ukraine and the impact that that has had on energy prices. And all of this has an impact on customer behaviours. We must take the pace of change really seriously; it's a super-power for business.”
He advised businesses to focus on online infrastructure, adopting APIs and Cloud Native technology to stay agile.
This sentiment is embraced by CCL’s customers who use the myCCL Transport Management System (TMS) to get complete supply chain visibility – from collection to delivery - across all modes of transport and multiple carriers, on a single platform.
Talking of multi-carrier shipping solutions, Richard Lim, CEO of Retail Economics, said that the choice they offered was essential to reducing cart abandonment.
He explained: “Basket abandonment, in terms of frequency, happens in about ¼ of all transactions. The most common reason for this is that they have a limited choice of delivery options, and we estimate is that it is costing retailers about £7.2bn a year.”
The latest Retail Economic Report showed that the customers surveyed expected at least five delivery options, but retailers (with a multi-channel approach) surveyed had on average only 3.5 options.
Richard added that operational costs and the challenge of working with multiple carriers were cited as barriers to greater delivery choice. However, he suggested that working with a multicarrier shipping or tech partner could help with this burden.
Another challenge around meeting customers’ expectations was highlighted by Chris Haton Head of Outbound Logistics at the Very Group, who explained the difficulty in collecting unbiased post-purchase feedback.
He said: “There is always going to be a healthy tension between the carriers and the retailers collection of customer data, the carriers will want to survey for their own purposes and we will want to survey for our own purposes, and in part at least that is to compare the service across the carrier base.”
However, Chris suggested that retailers should work with the carriers to share feedback and improve services.
He added: “The important thing is that whoever is doing the survey and getting the response, they need to share that information. That sharing goes both ways. We provide information to carriers about how they are doing and we welcome feedback from the carriers to find out how we are doing against their other clients.”
CCL Customer Experience Solutions
This transparent feedback approach is at the heart of CCL’s Customer Experience Solution, which provides email and SMS notifications to customers, with customisable branded tracking pages, and customer feedback components.
Gathering customer feedback when an order has been delivered allows users to proactively address any issues, make informed carrier decisions, and leads to happier customers and greater loyalty.
While delivery service and choice were key themes of IRX, speakers also highlighted that customers increasingly expected businesses to have sustainability values.
Nicky Hunt, Climate Action Roadmap Manager for the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said: “Increasingly we are having to meet our customer and investor demands around sustainability. Sustainability is now very important to customers, it’s one of their key concerns, right across the board of age groups.”
Nicky explained that many businesses found setting and meeting sustainability goals challenging, especially when it came to understanding Scope 3 emissions.
She advised: “For retail around 90% of our emissions exist outside our own operations, so they are within the supply chain and are areas over which we don’t have direct control.
“So, we need to work effectively with our suppliers to ensure that we deliver on these Scope 3 reduction targets. Every retailer that I speak to raises this as their biggest issue.”
Speaking to conference goers, CCLers explained how Greener Routes helps tackle this challenge. myCCL’s Greener Routes helps you measure, manage and minimise upstream and downstream transportation emissions for your whole supply chain.
myCCL does this by showing you the CO2e for all shipments by carrier, country, customer or mode of transport. This enables you to strategically plan your logistics, to reduce your CO2e.
After sharing this information and gaining more best-practice tips from industry thought leaders, CCLers headed back from the show, to continue the conversations with their new contacts.