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Today’s interview is with Angela O’Connell, the Strategy & Marketing Director for MetaPack. Founded in 1999, MetaPack provides a SaaS delivery management system to retailers, third-party logistics companies and carriers enabling better choice and more freedom in delivery options to all consumers, both in B2B and B2C markets. Angela joins me today to talk about recent research about consumer feelings, anxieties and preferences about deliveries following online purchases, the last mile/yard of customer experience and where companies can improve.
This interview follows on from my recent interview: Proactive customer service drives customer loyalty – Interview with Stew Bloom of Aspect – and is number 125 in the series of interviews with authors and business leaders that are doing great things, helping businesses innovate, become more social and deliver better service.
Highlights of my interview with Angela:
- The interview originated when Angela commented on recent research from Which? in October which looked at the best delivery firm in the UK and the problems with deliveries following online purchases.
- UK leads the world in ecommerce and online retailing.
- Customers are 59% less likely to order from a retailer again if they have a bad delivery experience.
- There is also some curious consumer behaviour occurring with FOMD – fear of missed delivery – affecting many. Metapack’s research shows that FOMD is getting so bad in some quarters that as many as two thirds of consumers said they are afraid to leave the house for fear of missing their parcel.
- Moreover, FOMD is also leading a third of all consumers to reportedly trade valuable holiday time to take a day off to wait in for a parcel.
- Therefore, there is an opportunity to improve communication around online deliveries.
- Angela believes that we are at the beginning of a wave of new innovation in delivery options. Things like delivery lockers and click and collect options are leading the charge on this.
- A future option could include location-based delivery options where retailers will deliver directly to you based on your location that is relayed by your mobile phone.
- Other options could include same day, ship from store, deliver to the boot of your car etc etc.
- Whilst delivery by drones could seem far fetched and will have to overcome lots of regulatory hurdles to become a viable option, Angela thinks there is a possibility that it could have a specialised and niche application.
- Amazon is leading the charge and is pushing the boundaries of what is possible.
- Amazon is also experimenting with an offline retail presence too and is set to open a pop-up store.
- Partnering is a big growth area for online retailers with the emergence of the new partnership between Argos and eBay.
- Retailers that do adopt these type of partnerships are reporting increases in sales as a result of increased footfall and impulse buys.
- Retailers are pushing for delivery first time and innovation in delivery options as the cost of redelivery is significant.
- Rates of return are also a significant cost factor for retailers and delivery companies and vary across countries. For example, in Germany rates of return can reach as high as 60%. This is creating a real need for a different type of innovation to reduce the costs associated with and the rates of returns. One example cited is the European jeans retailer that delivers jeans and waits for them to be tried on to see that they fit and will take them away if they don’t.
- For retailers looking to improve their delivery experience, Angela recommends that they use a range of delivery suppliers so that they can offer a number of delivery options and increased flexibility.
- This may seem counter-intuitive and go against reducing complexity and economies of scale but is a great way of offering the flexibility, service and options that will best serve and keep the end customer happy.
- Interested in learning more about this then check out MetaPack’s ‘Delivery Conference’ taking place in February in London.
About Angela (taken from her MetaPack bio)
Angela joined MetaPack in February 2014 and is responsible for MetaPack’s marketing and strategy. Prior to joining MetaPack she worked at Google for 8 years, in a range of senior marketing roles most recently leading YouTube B2B Marketing across EMEA. She has also worked for Deloitte, L’Oreal and Procter and Gamble focusing on strategy, marketing and finance. Angela holds an MBA from INSEAD and is ACMA qualified.
Founded in 1999, the MetaPack Group has offices in London, Hamburg and Poland, providing eCommerce and multi-channel delivery technology to leading retailers across the world. In September 2014 the company announced its expansion in North America with the acquisition of US shipping software vendor ABOL. MetaPack’s highly configurable SaaS platform connects shippers with parcel carriers, as well as a wide range of alternative delivery, collection and returns services. MetaPack works with over 200 parcel carriers to improve the delivery experience for shoppers providing more choice and convenience at all stages of the parcel journey.
You can also say Hi to MetaPack on Twitter @MetaPack