We’ve all been there – buying furniture, home appliances, or that new flat screen TV, when the taxing moment comes to schedule the delivery appointment for our purchase. Whether shopping at a store or online, more often than not, we’re presented with limited delivery options such as half-day time slots for the morning or afternoon or the ever dreaded, “We’ll call you the day before and confirm the time your goods will arrive...”

As consumers, we want choice, convenience and reliability. The more delivery options we have the greater the ability we have to choose an appointment that best conforms to our busy schedules. The narrower the appointment window, the less time we spend waiting for a delivery. These days who can afford to miss a day of work to wait for delivery of a new refrigerator?  And worse… what happens if it is late or fails to arrive?

Leading Customer Service is a Differentiator

Leading retailers understand that enhancing customer service for home delivery can be a key competitive weapon. Consumers will be loyal across retail channels to retailers that consistently provide them great service consisting of choice, convenience and reliability. Service failures not only risk consumers not returning, they can also result in poor ratings and negative brand equity.

Few retailers would disagree with the previous statements. Yet, too many retailers mistakenly believe that improved service means higher delivery costs. What if Descartes could help you offer tighter time windows, premium delivery times and value-added services (installation, removal, etc.) for less cost or increased revenue?

Would consumers pay for a premium two-hour delivery window at lunch or on a Saturday? Would consumers sign up for value-added services if they knew they would be reliably delivered? Would consumers take “free” delivery at times that were cost effective for the retailer? What if all of this could be done across multiple retail channels, stores, web, etc.?


Home Delivery Best Practices

Engaging the customer from purchase to post-delivery enhances the customer experience, improves delivery success and reduces the cost to keep customers informed. Delivery information is the cornerstone of an end-to-end engagement strategy from confirming the delivery appointment, to notifying that the delivery is underway, tracking the delivery progress, documenting the delivery and measuring the delivery experience. Download the Home Delivery Best Practices eBook to learn more about the approaches to last mile delivery with today’s most advantageous strategies and tactics.

John Lewis + Partners Benefit from Real-Time Appointments

This is just what one of our valued customers, John Lewis + Partners did. John Lewis + Partners is one of the United Kingdom’s leading retailers. They are known for creating a superior customer experience and successfully transforming much of their business to online.

As part of their multi-channel retailing initiative, they have successfully implemented Descartes’ Home Delivery solution to consolidate home deliveries for larger goods into one dynamic booking system. The solution allows John Lewis + Partners’ customers and employees to book delivery appointments in real-time on the website and at the point-of-sale while supporting the up-sell of value-added services consumers that consumers want.

Unlike batch optimization solutions, the dynamic incremental optimization used by Descartes Home Delivery solution allows John Lewis + Partners to place orders on schedules in real-time, helping to ensure delivery routes are realistic, efficient and productive. The solution’s web-based architecture allows high-speed automated booking, even in the peak holiday season, and enables centralized route planning for all of the United Kingdom. With high-quality results, delivery planners can manage delivery exceptions and concentrate on maintaining high customer services levels.

Regarding the project, Andrew Gay, Systems Manager at John Lewis + Partners said, “Customer service is paramount at John Lewis + Partners and Descartes’ Home Delivery solution are integral to our strategy of offering more extensive, but unified, delivery services across all of our channels. Descartes’ advanced optimization capabilities and architecture were critical to bringing new delivery service options to our customers in an economically feasible way.”

We are thrilled to continue working with leading retailers like John Lewis + Partners who have a vision for using customer service as a competitive weapon. We congratulate them on their success and are so pleased that they are realizing significant benefits.

If you want to learn how you can turn your home delivery operations into a competitive differentiator and revenue generator, contact us today.

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John Lewis Partnership

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