In the courier industry, it's easy to focus on logistical details and forget how much consumer expectations shape the industry. But shape it they do: in recent years courier jobs have changed beyond recognition, and all of the innovation stems from the end recipient’s desire to receive their goods in the quickest and most reliable way. With that in mind, here are five key consumer insights to consider if you want to stay ahead of the curve.
1. Consumers Are Embracing Innovation
Gone are the days of investing hundreds of thousands of pounds to get a logistics business off the ground. The smartest new ventures take advantage of private assets, with courier jobs increasingly being carried out by employees in their own cars. The good news is that consumers appear to be comfortable with this practise, with 80% of people saying that they are happy for goods to be delivered by these innovative means over the traditional, company-branded van.
2. Couriers Can Capitalise on Customers’ Indecision
One key consumer priority is being able to change delivery options while an order is in transit. Implementing this may sound like a logistical nightmare, but it could be the key to giving your customer satisfaction ratings a boost. Although it takes some thought to accommodate this while still getting courier jobs done efficiently, there is plenty of technology available to ease the transition, from geospatial data to software solutions.
3. Seamless Cross-Border Shopping Wins Customer Loyalty
As courier companies will know all too well, customers expect the same level of service from international deliveries as for their domestic orders. This expectation poses the considerable challenge of navigating customs and border controls in record time. Don’t be deterred, however, as cross-regional shipping ecosystems are being developed for greater ease of passage between countries, with standardised processes to keep the parcel ball rolling.
4. Don’t Underestimate Traditional Post Operators
Amongst the proliferation of new courier companies and innovative shipping methods, national post operators can start to seem old hat. However, you may need to watch out for the postie nabbing your courier jobs. Many national and regional post operators have undergone significant digital transformation in recent years, and still pose stiff competition to the new upstarts.
5. Consumer Expectations are Driving Innovation in E-Commerce
Consumer demands have pushed e-commerce retailers to innovate at a rapid pace, with all of the major online retailers now using robots in their logistics operations to speed deliveries along. Whether or not you are quite at the robot stage, taking heed of how consumers influence e-commerce trends could give hints of what’s to come in the logistics industry.
Stay Ahead of The Game
In any field, keeping abreast of consumer expectations is key for business leaders who want to stay at the top of their game. The trends listed above are a good indication of what to look at now, but the best way to beat the competition is to keep your finger on the pulse. Look out for the next big thing as it comes round the bend, and adapt your business accordingly.
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day courier jobs in the express freight exchange industry. Over 5,000 member companies are networked together through the Exchange to fill empty capacity, get new clients and form long-lasting business relationships.