Carmen Carey, CEO of Sorted, presents the benefits of choosing the right carrier for your product, testing the quality of your service and perfecting customer service to reduce costs 

Growing retail businesses have contended with exceptional challenges over the last few years. Brexit, a worldwide pandemic, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – to name a few – have delivered a soaring rise in living expenses.

These exceptional challenges are showing no sign of slowing down, and the competition is as fierce as ever.  Standing out from the crowd means focusing on and optimising every aspect of your value proposition to ensure success in the near and long-term.

And this is where delivery experience shines. Our neuroscience report found the delivery experience alone accounts for 35% of the entire consumer journey. Whether your parcel volume is in the tens, or the thousands, having a successful delivery operation is essential to providing customers with a competitive experience that will keep them loyal. 

Given this, here are three ways to align with your carrier(s) to create a standout delivery experience:

1. Choosing the right carrier for your product 

Finding the right match is as sought after in business as it is in life – and partnering up with the right carrier can be the key to delivering new growth. In the search for the perfect partner, you need to consider elements such as using a carrier that can manage the size, weight and shape of your products, the location(s) where that carrier operates, the speed of delivery and, of course, the cost. All of this will feed into the carrier reputation as well. 

But why go for one carrier when you can have multiple? 

If you go for one, you’ll be able to have a direct and bespoke arrangement with one business. But if they go down, you go down – and single-carrier dependency in 2023 is a risk. There’s also little negotiation power, no optimisation of service type and it severely limits customer choice in delivery options and services – a major component in customer experience (CX). For brands, those in charge of the shipping carry the essential mantle of producing a carrier strategy that can be flexible and economically sound. Having a multi-carrier strategy can deliver this approach.  

With multiple options comes multiple benefits. With several partners in operation, teams can mitigate the risk of carrier downtime, allow for agile expansion of operations, and have different carriers who can specialise in different services. In a nutshell, it dramatically increases the options on offer for customer delivery. 

2. Testing the quality of your service 

Testing and monitoring the quality of your service is extremely important in ensuring customer satisfaction and loyalty for your business. It can help improve the overall efficiency and competitiveness of your service and identify and fix any problems in the delivery process. There are many ways this can be done, one being having a system that is able to manage carrier integrations,  maintenance and reporting all in one place. This most commonly will come in the form of a carrier management system (CMS), creating a central hub for carrier services, communication, and data.

Crucially, modern systems can generate delivery experience reports that gather insights from multiple carriers and provide feedback on performance. Having a centralised dashboard with easy access to delivery performance reporting will streamline checks and ultimately enhance performance. From one convenient location, businesses can create, manage, and monitor everything.

By generating a stream of easily digestiblereal-time data, brands can quickly see what’s working, what’s not, the standard of the service and changes they need to make to better it. It’s a secret ingredient to take the delivery experience to the next level. 

3. Perfecting customer service to reduce costs

Impeccable customer service at low cost – it’s the dream scenario. But brands also must make customer promises the warehouse can keep. For this to thrive, a modern CMS is also crucial to creating efficient customer service ops that can connect the checkout with the warehouse and present optimised delivery options in line with operational and carrier capabilities. For example, a certain carrier may not deliver to a specific postcode or on bank holidays. A smoother dispatch means a happier customer. 

This also plays into deciding how best to ship products. Through routing to the cheapest available carrier service, brands can shave off a penny per delivery. It’s through having multiple carrier services that this is possible, offering a scalable and flexible approach that gives brands control over what products go where and dramatically enhances the allocation process. For example, the CMS can compile a list of carrier services, see who meets allocation rules and consign the shipment to the cheapest service on this shortlist. It’s giving you total control. Win win. 

A standout delivery performance 

The current business landscape and rising living costs presents significant challenges to retail businesses. As competition intensifies, optimising every aspect of the value proposition is crucial for success in the short and long term. The delivery experience has emerged as a critical component of this and to stand out from the crowd, aligning with carriers to create a standout delivery experience can be a game-changer.

By integrating a CMS system, brands with a multi-carrier strategy can control, perfect, and optimise customer experience. These are just three steps out of many more, but they could make all the difference in effectively aligning with your carrier(s) to deliver a standout delivery experience. 

With a standout delivery experience, brands are primed to offer a rewarding customer journey that can provide a seamless customer experience that fosters loyalty and drives growth. 

Sorted’s Delivery Experience supports retailers in providing exceptional delivery experiences and analysing post-purchase performance. It empowers customers to track deliveries and returns or exchange parcels effortlessly.