Connectivity in logistics is often seen as something that happens between the carriers and merchants. But consumers demand to be connected to the provider and have easy access to information and channels that can control what is happening. Many carriers struggle with that due to how far away from their core business such a process is. But simplifying the communication with the end consumer is something retail needs and logistics has to support. We spoke to Andy Noyce, Senior Lead Enterprise AE, Nylas about incorporating better communication tools in the overall consumers’ experience.
‘If your website or mobile app forces users to get off it, so they can communicate with you, then you are losing efficiency and the opportunity to convert them,’ starts Andy Noyce when explaining why communication is a vital part of the final mile delivery.
Synchronising different tools like websites, email notification and tracking apps, is not just about making it easier for the consumer. It adds a level of visibility which is becoming essential for every retailer and by extension for every final mile provider.
‘Rich data sets can be gathered and then sent to the marketing team,’ Noyce goes on. This is a way to offer more personalised services.
If carriers can connect their system directly to a consumer’s calendar, they can offer specific delivery slots that fit the consumers’ availability. In this way logistics providers can make the delivery process as convenient and predictable as possible. And additionally bring what consumers already use as technology to their last mile experience.
Data privacy and compliance is very important here but end users are able to authenticate and accept whatever data is being collected and processed. Noyce also points to the way data collection is talked about. Often it is something consumers see no benefit in but when it has an actual value people are more open to sharing information. ‘I find that connecting delivery slots to my calendar availability is really valuable,’ Noyce explains. ‘If you are out most of the time, this serves as a reminder.’
Carriers have to be clear about what information they capture, of course.
‘Consumers have moved from the idea of needing loads of options and into receiving the best option for them on an individual level,’ comments Noyce. For retailers this increases brand loyalty and for logistics it saves money but also improves the relationship with the merchant.
‘Consumers have a high level of expectations. Some companies are driven by this but some carriers are behind.’
How much data is needed would depend on what the organisation wants to achieve. In the future we might see more carriers working in partnerships to utilise each other’s sets of data. ‘Data utilisation is high on the agenda for logistics and how you use this to engage with all parties,’ Noyce says. ‘If a user is having to go all around the place to find the data they need, they get frustrated to say the least.’
Ultimately the end consumer does not care who is sitting behind the data. They want a better experience. Retailers also want fewer customers’ complaints. ‘It has been quite a journey for people to see the value. The companies who have adopted such technology have increased satisfaction and consumers are happy to share their data.’ ✷