Pimp My Delivery

29.7.2016 -

Do you remember that hit series which turned any car into a great ride? In summer holiday mood I applied the format to one of the most important areas of commerce.

The series was called ‘Pimp My Ride’ and followed the West Coast Customs body shop. They took in cars one trip away from the scrap heap and returned them to their owners thoroughly ‘pimped’.

So what if we kept the idea, but changed what we overhaul? One of the most important areas of modern commerce and customer experience – delivery to the customer – could be pimped. Pimp My Delivery!

While on holiday, I had plenty of free time to play around with the idea. I almost kept within the limits of what is possible in the present day. In customer deliveries, there are a couple of basic things to be fine-tuned: the actual delivery to the customer, and events relating to the return, exchange or refund.

5 ideas to fine-tune your deliveries

1. More horsepower to your commerce engine

Modern product ranges are relatively small in both brick-and-mortar stores and online. There are, of course, some exceptions. For the fine-tuned version, I would immediately expand the online store into a marketplace. And by marketplace, I don’t mean a department store with a whole range of goods. Instead, I would invest in a few strong and select product categories based on customer interest. Based on these categories, I would introduce thousands, or even tens of thousands of new products.

2. Faster delivery models

I would tweak current delivery models in several ways. First, I would guarantee same-day home delivery for orders placed before 2:00 pm for 80% of products. I would keep the best-selling products in a service warehouse near customers.

Second, I would convert existing stores into delivery warehouses. Some of the deliveries would come directly off the shelf. I would use simple models to optimise from which store or warehouse a product is delivered.

Third, for same-day deliveries to a customer’s home or workplace, I would make use of companies such as Wolt and Uber. Otherwise, I don’t think it would work.

Fourth, Marketplace and direct-delivery products would move directly from partners to the customer with a two-day delivery period.  I would tweak this part by choosing capable goods suppliers and logistics partners.

3. Shop-in-shop accessories on the body

I would add some smaller concept stores and shop-in-shop stores to the body. In order to retain geographic coverage and the customers’ image of the brand, of course. As we know, closing down a store in a single area reduces online sales, while new stores correspondingly increase them. A store located amid high customer flow combined with a strong online presence would also naturally act as a collection point.

4. Accessories for returns

In my customised version, the return and exchange process would always begin with the online store. I could then guide customers to send their returns and exchanges to the correct address. And there would also be an incentive: loyal customers would receive their money back within 4 hours, and other customers within two days. I would model this part after Finnish insurance companies who manage their cash flows well.

I would, however, need some fine-tuning assistance from a start-up which might not even exist yet (outside the mind of a serial entrepreneur). It would handle the risks and procedures relating to returns and exchanges on my behalf. Even if it took commission from all of my sales, I would make it work well and satisfy my customers. Customers would dare to buy more from me than from competitors.

5. Automatic finishing touches

Even my store would be fine-tuned to the maximum. Mr. Watson would continuously analyse customers’ purchasing behaviour. It knows when to send a second pair of those red Nike sneakers in a size larger in the same package. They are a better fit than the product the customer ordered, which will be collected by an automatised Uber the following day…

The original format always featured an unbelievable climax towards the end. The car owner is jumping for joy unable to believe his or her eyes. Eye-catching changes, bold ideas and elated reactions are all part of what this Pimp My Delivery body shop definitely offers, too.

Juha Luomala

Juha Luomala

I am a digital commerce expert and Solteq’s ‘Mr. Portfolio’. I work closely with company management teams and key personnel, and participate in planning new projects and operational models. I listen, challenge, consult and coach. With this understanding, I also lead Solteq into new solution areas. It’s a pleasure to work in a field where there’s never a dull moment.

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