If you want to achieve success as a retailer in this day and age, it’s time to fully embrace the reality that you’re in the experience business. Transactions are no longer a simple exchange of money for goods or services; consumers demand more. They expect you to win their affection and loyalty by delivering their purchases when they want them, where they want them.
Because of this, the parcel delivery experience is more important than ever. And to thrive and grow in the experience economy, more and more successful retailers turn to a cloud-based Transportation Management System (TMS) for parcel shipping.
A Cloud TMS for Parcel Shipping Sets You Up for Success
Retailers such as Belk, Foot Locker, and Home Depot all use our cloud TMS for parcel shipping, Logistyx TME, to:
- Leverage a multi-carrier shipping strategy
- Streamline shipment execution, including cross-border and hazmat shipments
- Monitor parcel delivery movements
- Execute omnichannel order fulfillment, including ship-from-store
- Identify ongoing opportunities to improve profits per parcel
This enables their global teams to reduce transportation spend, improve on-time delivery rates, fuel agility in their shipping workflows, and gain a competitive edge in their markets.
Here’s a closer look at some of the ways our cloud TMS for parcel shipping can set you up for success in the experience economy.
Expand your Transportation Network
A TMS for parcel shipping allows a retailer to easily deploy a multi-carrier strategy, which means the retailer then has more delivery options to please customers. Logistyx TME, for example, includes multiple global, regional, domestic, and international carriers in our carrier library, allowing retailers to easily build a unique transportation network to serve their customers. Then, our system rate shops across this network, switching between carriers to continually optimize each shipment to achieve on time delivery at the lowest cost based on point of origin, point of destination, delivery timeframe, parcel weight, parcel dimension, and any applicable business rules.
And though each carrier has unique requirements for labeling and electronic communications compliance, Logistyx TME simplifies the complexity of this compliance. The system ensures each shipment, regardless of whether it is shipping domestically or internationally or contains hazardous goods, adheres to all carriers’ requirements, including accounting for import tariffs, packaging specifications, and customs rules and regulations – helping retailers avoid additional fees and delivery delays.
States the IT director of one Logistyx customer, “Logistyx gave us the flexibility to add new UPS services and bring FedEx into the fold. With multicarrier options, including Mail Innovations and SmartPost, we’re saving money and providing customers better delivery options.”
Improve the Customer Experience
A retailer is, in a sense, the whole of the experiences it delivers to its customers. And since these experiences are now largely taking place online, retailers have to create memorable customer experiences without traditional in-store tactics such as music, aromatic displays, and sample stations. The answer: flawless, personalized shipping execution. Free or discounted shipping, on-time delivery, and proactive delivery event communication can go a long way toward winning customer loyalty.
Retailers can start by satisfying their customers’ needs for instant gratification. Shipping behemoths such as Amazon have made two-day product delivery the industry standard, and to keep pace, it’s critical for retailers to decrease lead times by fulfilling orders quickly and working with reliable carriers to maintain on time delivery rates. It’s important to note here that regional carriers can be the key to faster, cheaper, and more flexible delivery services, usually offering next-day ground delivery within 400 miles of a shipment’s origin – often at a lower rate and with fewer surcharges than the national carriers. Logistyx TME includes these carriers in its carrier library and can help retailers quickly connect to their services to create efficiencies in the last mile and improve on-time delivery rates.
Next, satisfy consumers’ demands for a personalized shopping experience. Modern day buyers want more than just easy product selection and ultra-fast or same-day delivery; they also want to choose when, where, and how they receive their order. By allowing customers to pick the delivery timeframe, location (doorstep, curbside pick-up, BOPIS, etc.) and rate, retailers can give their customers additional flexibility. To this end, Logistyx TME helps retailers better serve customers by not only expanding their carrier service options, but also by seamlessly integrating with supply chain technology stacks to provide retailers with the necessary agility to manage shifts in consumer shopping patterns, such as cost-effectively moving in-store inventory and shifting more e-commerce delivery origins from distribution centers to stores.
Beware: offering Amazon-like delivery speeds and flexible delivery options may still not be enough to win those repeat purchases. Delivery accuracy is also crucial. A recent study from BigCommerce states that if an order is delivered incorrectly, late, or not at all, 29% of end customers won’t order again from the same retailer. And the lost sales opportunities don’t stop there. Consumers today share their negative experiences with the world on various social media channels and review sites, which means a bad experience with parcel delivery can quickly lead to the further loss of potential customers. Not surprising, customers want to be confident their product will arrive at its destination on time, and they are now demanding real-time delivery tracking.
While Logistyx TME provides this tracking, we also recommend our customers go one step further and use the Logistyx Control Tower to receive real-time alerts when unwanted delivery events occur, giving retailers the opportunity to troubleshoot. For example, perhaps the product can be sent from a different distribution center to arrive on time. Or perhaps the customer is willing to retrieve the product from a nearby store or locker. Providing updates when there has been a delivery disruption reassures customers everything possible is being done to meet the original delivery promise and ultimately demonstrates to customers their business is valued.
Beat the Competition
As discussed, a TMS for parcel shipping fuels shipping workflow efficiency and improves the customer experience, which ultimately gives retailers a competitive edge. But the right TMS for parcel shipping will also have other capabilities that can help beat the competition.
For starters, it will enable better decision-making with crystal-clear Business Intelligence and data analytics. So, rather than putting time and money toward shipping strategies that may decrease transportation spend and improve on-time delivery rates, retailers can invest in strategies that they know will work. With Logistyx TME’s Business Intelligence, for example, retailers can run transportation simulations to identify where significant savings opportunities exist, challenging the norm and comparing “what if” to current performance. They have a “sandbox” to approach transportation scenarios with a creative mindset and verify and measure the impact of various scenarios on the bottom line.
Logistyx TME customers also use our Business Intelligence technology to identify carrier delivery performance improvements and cost saving opportunities. This may come in the form of identifying and adjusting improperly invoiced items relating to contractual rates, accessories, guaranteed service rebates, claims management, address correction validations, or even manifested but not shipped transactions, or it may come in the form of modeling and comparing selected carrier services against actual carrier performance to find routing alternatives with lower cost implications and/or faster delivery times.
Achieve Success with your TMS for Parcel Shipping
Retailers are faced with the same overwhelming challenge: to create a memorable and consistent experience across an increasingly complicated map of fulfillment touchpoints. But don’t worry, it’s not an impossible feat.
For example, Belk wanted to execute store-level shipping to better serve customers and stand out from other regional department stores. To achieve this, they integrated Logistyx with Manhattan Associates’ order management software to provide their stores with inventory visibility and instant access to carriers and services offering the best rates for each particular location. Ken Fleming, President, Logistyx Technologies explains, “While simple in theory, executing store-level shipping presents considerable challenges for some retailers, including limited carrier selection and complex rate shopping. Our software is able to address these issues, providing retailers with the ability to move inventory from all locations whether in distribution centers, warehouses, or stores and optimize delivery cost and efficiency to improve the customer experience.”
You can get an inside look at the same tool Belk uses to achieve this success. Sign up for a demo today and see what it’s like to simplify the complexity of high volume, omnichannel parcel shipping.