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It’s fair to say that the supply chain may carry a sort of ‘boring’ stigma. Very much a process part of the business, involving dark warehouses, late night transportation runs, administrative tasks, etc.
Whilst many appreciate the importance of the supply chain (or at least they do when they sell out of best-selling items), the annual targets for supply chain are often centred around process performance and lowering cost.
However, with the rapid shift of consumer behaviour to online, retailers in particular may just start to look at the supply chain in a slightly different light.
Businesses are now rapidly looking for ways to differentiate. Whereas before, they had a lovely store, with smiling colleagues and carefully throughout out merchandising and fragrancies, they need to find a way to replicate this experience at arm’s length.
Is it possible to add personality, differentiate service and experience and replicate the feeling your customers get in store? Are your only tools your website and social media marketing campaigns? Or can you add your brand personality into the online experience by leveraging your supply chain?
You see, with customers ordering product from a website to their homes, the supply chain is quickly becoming the customer service face of the business. The experience, the service, the communication – it’s all supply chain. Yet so many outsource the entire process to external companies from the point of sale.
I am not suggesting that every retailer or online merchant needs to buy their own fleet of vans. That would be ridiculous. But the way you communicate with customers throughout the journey of their order through the supply chain is definitely a way to add personality, improve experience and even drive further business.
The critical messages that notify customers of their newly purchased items don’t have to be handled by your chosen courier. They could be handled by you – adding your personality to that part of the customer journey…
Not only does supply chain communication offer a way of promoting brand personality, it offers a way of promoting other products. Think about it… delivery notifications often capture the full attention of your customer… They want to know where their purchase is right…? Why not leverage that communication channel to up-sell items, or promote brand initiatives, further building brand personality into the online experience…?
Whilst supply chains have been considered ‘boring’ for many years, today, the supply chain may just be the most important marketing tool.