E-commerce is one of the fastest growing industries in NZ, and most retailers operating in this industry are starting to feel “growth pains” due to this rapid adoption of online shopping by Kiwis. These “growth pains” will continue to stand out and appear more and more as retailers enter the busiest part of the year.
As an e-commerce retailer, you will continue to face multiple challenges when it comes to maintaining your brand promise to your customers. Here at Sealed Air we have been working closely with a wide range of retailers in the marketplace, and seeing the challenges facing e-Commerce first hand. That has given us a unique perspective into the most common pain points. Here is a list of what we have discovered.
If you are facing similar issues and can relate to these pain points, please get in touch. Sealed Air has a wide range of solutions that can flex to your needs and help you no matter what size your business is.
1) Fulfilment Challenges
a. Struggling to keep up with orders
Although this is a good problem to have, not being able to meet your customer’s delivery expectations can have a negative impact on your business. Most e-commerce customers expect delivery within 48 hours, if not sooner, and their purchase decisions are being influenced by how fast you can get their order to them.
This trend will continue to play an important role in influencing customer decisions, especially as large e-Commerce players like Amazon enter the Australasian market and continue to re-shape the expectations.
b. Staff Turnover
In respects to fulfilling orders quickly, another challenge lingers close by. That is the challenge of fulfilling orders with the right staff.
Most operations we have come across respond to these “growing pains” by applying more labour at the point of fulfilment, and although this response is not wrong, it is the effectiveness of this additional resource which should be reviewed. For example, the ability to train new staff and ensure the consistency of quality is being met and exceeded.
2) Returns – Product damage (real cost of a return)
Speedy fulfillment is important when a customer shops online. BUT it means nothing if their order arrives damaged. 81% of consumers aged 18-34 years would consider purchasing from a competitor, or avoid the retailer if their product is received damaged. Not to mention the hassle of having to return the product back to the retailer. Returns have a lot of hidden admin and processing costs.
3) Brand Recognition
Building brand recognition can be an uphill battle, especially when you do not have a physical store as a space that customers can visit and interact with your brand. For most e-commerce retailers a customer’s first touch point with your brand is when they receive a package from you. This means that you have to re-think the box, and provide your customers with an amazing unboxing experience. What a package looks, feels and smells like will reflect the loyalty and love a shopper has for the retailer that sent it. 66% of customers say packaging reflects how much a retailer cares about them and their order.
The new consumer in today’s market is also a conscience consumer, especially around companies’ ability to do their part for the environment. This means that customers will penalise you, if they do not perceive you as being environmentally conscious. The trending hashtag #toomuchpackaging on social media is proof that customers care.
In fact research suggests that 77% of consumers believe packaging reflects the company’s environmental values. The best way to be sustainable is to make sure your product is packaged appropriately, and arrives safely at your customer, in pristine condition. This minimises unnecessary wastage of returns, and re-processing orders.
5) When to upgrade to new technology and innovations
Technology has evolved so rapidly in the retail sector, and the mobile phone has changed the retail landscape. In order to keep up with customer demands and new purchasing behaviours, technology in the fulfillment area also needs to evolve.
Whether that be connecting your stock availability with live stock counts on your website, picking orders using a “pen-and-paper” method, or moving to a “hand-held” scanning process for better accuracy and reporting. However you might be uncertain about when the right time to make this upgrade is.
Let’s talk about how Sealed Air can help you overcome these growth pains!
Get in touch with us on 0800 32 42 52.