Covid, Black Friday & Christmas: the survival guide for e-merchants
No one is unaware of it now, these three events have a huge impact on the activity of e-merchants. And even more on the activity of carriers.
In this survival guide, we will go over the deep adaptations that the carriers had to put in place. The consequences that this can have on the activity of e-merchants. And we will also offer you the best solutions to survive it. Even turn these pitfalls into growth levers (if possible!).
It is important to distinguish two distinct impacts. First of all, a volume impact, with a colossal increase in e-Commerce shipments since the first containment (and which continues as of the day of this writing). And the human impact, that is to say the sanitary adaptations that had to be put in place. Both in the logistics centers of carriers and during deliveries to the end customer.
A transport logistics center, whether at Ups, Chronopost, or Dhl, is nothing more or less than a giant anthill, where everyone has to move. Or each has a specific task to accomplish and which normally requires a certain promiscuity between employees. This precise organization is the sine qua non condition for successfully delivering packages on time. But while respecting the profitability objectives. A grain of sand in such an organization, and it can jeopardize customer satisfaction and operational quality.
The Covid and its consequences
The covid dumped buckets of sand on all the anthills around the world, and everyone had to adapt. Or by extending the hours of activity, but there are still only 24 hours in a day. Or by adjusting the workstations and circulation within these warehouses, at the cost of a drop in productivity. Therefore, carriers have implemented covid surcharges for some of them. This could have generated delivery deadlines that were not always respected.
Compared to women and men without whom none of these benefits would be possible, there has obviously been a huge impact like everywhere else. Unfortunately, these collaborators were not more immune than the others. And even if the roads were much less congested than usual, the increase in the number of packages required the mobilization of new temporary workers, new deliverers, to be able to meet this workload.
Closure of shops
The closure of small businesses had a very significant impact on carriers who work on deliveries to relay points. Indeed, some have even had to stop their activities completely, which has only further increased the burden on others.
Home delivery has been greatly impacted. And still is, since with sanitary measures, there is no longer any question of having a customer sign on the same terminal. As a result, the proofs of deliveries are no longer really. Unless the delivery man takes a picture of you with your package (great adaptation in my opinion!).
It has become logical to favor deposit in front of the door, or delivery to letterbox. In short, so many adaptations that leave the door open to abuse, whoever is responsible.
In the end, it is always e-merchants who are required to manage litigation files, and to try at all costs to keep a customer relationship at the level of their promises.
Solutions for e-merchants
Since it is you, e-merchants, who are in direct contact with customers, it is up to you to hold on to the shock, and to reverse this negative pressure by proving your involvement and your sense of customer service.
N ° 1: Inform
This is not the first, nor the last time that I recommend it. The more you inform your customers in advance of your choices, and any difficulties you encounter, the less your customers will be unhappy. What irritates a customer the most is not knowing and not being informed in time! This is why putting information on your home page and communicating on social networks are good practices to put in place.
N ° 2: Be pro active!
The vast majority of carriers provide you with parcel tracking tools. These tools allow you to notify your customers of possible delivery delays before they file a complaint. This will be all the more appreciated, and it will limit the number of calls and emails sav.
# 3: be logical
Adapt the transport solutions that you offer to direct your customers to the transport solutions that generate the least sav. This can encourage deliveries to relay points which always provide proof of delivery (La Poste group companies have a very good network). Or to suspend the choice of the carrier which generates you the most sav. You can also send, from the first contact, a sworn statement to customers who have indicated to you that they have not received their products. This document will always be requested by the carriers for the indicated packages delivered. And it will give thought to dishonest customers who received the products well. At Busybees, we offer you a tailor-made logistics solution.
N ° 4: Be smart!
Ride on this period of operational difficulties to get your customers to buy as early as possible so that the gifts are well under the tree. 3 euros more for express delivery … What does this represent compared to the tears of a child or the reproaches of a disappointed half?
N ° 5: Take the power!
Since you cannot deliver the packages yourself, and you will be subject to the performance of the carriers anyway, imagine other solutions! Why not offer your customers the opportunity to have their products delivered at the start of 2021? In return for a voucher, a product offered, or a canon sponsorship offer? Not everyone will agree, that’s for sure, but those who do will remember you positively. Isn’t that always the goal?
There are still many actions to imagine to turn this complicated period into an opportunity. At Busybees, we would like to thank all the men and women who, through their work, have made it possible for e-merchants to maintain and replace traditional distribution networks.
So thank you to all carriers, deliverers, and of course, to all logistics professionals. We wish you happy end of year holidays!
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