Free and convenient delivery remain top priorities for consumers in an omni-channel world, research by Kurt Salmon shows. The firm highlights that as retailers continually look to improve their customer services, investment in the regular evaluation and re-design of product flows and solutions to fulfil deliveries are essential to meet changing customer requirements.
In a recently released report from Retail Week in association with management consulting firm Kurt Salmon, titled ‘Retail 2015: Definitive intelligence on the state of the industry, from the leaders in UK retail’*, the changing environment in the UK retail sector is explored. The report discusses the results of a survey of 25 retail executives, with questions ranging over economic issues facing retailers’ core business and changes expected within the industry over the coming year.
One of the aspects highlighted in Kurt Salmon’s report are the delivery preferences of consumers. These preferences can, according to the firm, be used by the retailers to improve customer service by giving customers access to their chosen good in terms of what they see as the most valuable and convenient. The report shows that consumers tend to demand free delivery and convenience. For clothing delivery, more than half (57%) of consumers place priority on free delivery, for food delivery, this found important for 45%. Next day delivery is seen as a priority offering for 32% of consumers buying clothing online, while at 17% for food delivery. A specific time-frame is important for around a quarter of clothing delivery demands.
A competitive stance
Since consumers place such a high level of importance on delivery services, retailers are listening to the demands of their customers to best meet their needs. However, retailers also stand in continued competitive stance with each other, looking to innovate new ways to make shopping more convenient for their customers. “We are constantly monitoring our competitors in their proposition to customers, their delivery options and their technology. How we react to it might be a conversation through to investing considerable sums of money, but we are always monitoring them,” explains one of the respondents.
Kurt Salmon finds that if retailers are to stay on top of the conditions related to their kind of product and its delivery to customers within the convenience of that customer, then: “Regular evaluation and re-design of product flows and solutions to fulfil deliveries is essential to meet changing customer requirements. On-going review and simulation of different demand and requirement patterns should be completed to understand capacity limitations and to ensure that new delivery solutions can be built in time to avoid extreme peak period failures.”