Have you ever ordered something online and waited for the tracking number to appear in your inbox? Perhaps you get frustrated when it takes a day for you to receive an email with your tracking number and you decide to write a scathing review of the company you ordered from.
You’re not the only customer who feels this way.
Every year it seems as if consumers want their goods faster and faster. As shoppers, we demand our purchases immediately and we get frustrated when our tracking numbers take more than a day to hit our inbox.
Take the ever-popular Amazon. When Amazon launched their prime service, customers rejoiced at the option of selecting one-day delivery for eligible purchases. It was revolutionary, creating an unparalleled experience that provided a convenience for shoppers that many other competitors could not offer. But the convenience and speed of Amazon Prime wasn’t enough for demanding shoppers, so Amazon launched their quick-delivery service in 2014, offering free same-day delivery to Prime customers. The message here is loud and clear: consumers want their purchases faster than ever, no exceptions.
Customer expectations put pressure on companies to constantly innovate in order to keep up with consumer demand. In today’s competitive e-commerce society, if your online store cannot fulfill orders within 24 hours you risk losing business. And staying competitive means identifying the right business solutions that grow with your enterprise. “Companies are driving towards more automation with software like Flowtrac Software,” says Eric Sutter, founder and CEO of EMS Barcode Solutions and Barcode Trading Post. “You need to invest in technology that can expand to the unthinkable, and not let technology be the reason why you pass on e-commerce opportunities.”
The consumer market is always evolving and customer demands aren’t slowing down anytime soon. While the customer isn’t always right, you do need to listen to their expectations and take into consideration the feedback they provide. With many businesses late to the technology game, the challenge is in identifying ways to provide a superior customer experience.
To compete with the Amazons of the world, businesses need technology solutions that can be easily integrated with a business’s existing systems, and evolve with changing markets.
It’s also about providing an omni-channel experience for your customers. One thing Amazon does extremely well is make shopping and buying incredibly easy for their customers, whether it be on a mobile app or a desktop computer. Today, your e-commerce customer is anyone who is fluent in technology and connected digitally – and the retailers who can accommodate their omni-channel presence are the ones who will succeed.
Businesses need to apply this omni-channel way of thinking to their supply chain management systems too. “When you have inventory systems that stand alone, businesses move at a much slower pace,” warns Sutter. “You can have four channels bringing in orders and the expectation of your customer is that they want a tracking number in a day, not a week.” Companies like EMS Barcode Solutions provide businesses, small and large, with technology capabilities to help businesses increase their productivity, eliminate errors and streamline the supply chain management process with software like Flowtrac Software.
But more importantly, a business must understand why there’s a need for constant technology updates and why it’s crucial to have agile digital solutions. If you integrate technology that is restricting and can’t grow overtime, that’s like admitting that you are not going to learn anything else moving forward. Stagnant processes and thinking will keep your business from reaching customers who are constantly on the move and always on the lookout for the next “big thing.” There may be channels of revenue you’re not even aware of, and to keep up with the big corporations you need to consider the solutions that encompass every possible channel.
As the consumer market grows and evolves over time, your business should be in a constant state of innovation to identify the best way of capturing your customers. Sometimes that translates into cutting out inefficient processes to save on costs, or it could mean onboarding new technology solutions that are customizable down the road. Staying competitive means understanding what your consumers want and how they think as online shoppers. Whoever adapts the fastest and most efficiently wins.
This article was written by Larry Myler from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.