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It’s time to reshape your delivery experience with AI and tech
Man updating delivery progress on smartphone
StrategyTechnology

From chatbots to blockchain, technology can help you transform your delivery experience. Here’s how.

  • For retailers, the “last mile” equates to one of the most challenging and costly stages of an online purchase. For consumers, it is the final moment when the online purchase arrives. It’s the most exciting and satisfying part, so when the delivery experience could be better or worse goes wrong, it can make us feel very differently about buying from a particular brand or even just shopping online.

    No one wants that, least of all retailers aiming for continued growth.

  • Digital innovation is the key to the future

    We surveyed over 2500+ people across the UK and Ireland about their online shopping preferences, focusing on the delivery experience. We then analysed all the data to identify gaps and areas for improvement.

    But we didn’t stop there. We then looked at ways retailers and delivery companies could leverage technology, particularly AI, to solve these problems. From emotionally intelligent chatbots to smart widgets and green technology, here are some of the most promising and effective digital solutions we suggest.

  • AI chatbots – a multitasking powerhouse

    Since the introduction of generative AI in late 2022, chatbots have never been more versatile or sophisticated. It makes sense that eCommerce is taking advantage of their expanded functionality. Today, retailers and carriers use them to resolve and redress many problems at each stage of the buying, delivery and post-delivery process.

  • 5 ways to use an AI chatbot to improve the customer experience (CX)
    1. Integrate AI-driven chatbots to address customer concerns preemptively. By leveraging predictive data analytics, an AI-driven chatbot can anticipate potential customer challenges by analysing historical trends, user behaviour patterns, and contextual information and identify issues such as product dissatisfaction, service interruptions, or evolving customer preferences. This allows the chatbot to offer tailored solutions and recommendations before customers express their concerns.
    2. Give your customers the means to communicate directly with your brands and delivery company to accommodate any last-minute delivery requests and changes.
    3. Analyse customer emotions to resolve complaints and facilitate the returns process. 
    4. Provide recommendations and upsell services based on past customer behaviour.
    5. As customers grow increasingly environmentally conscious, use chatbots to provide your customers with information about green delivery options.
Person tracking a delivery

AI chatbots can assist customers with delivery selection

  • Predictive AI and algorithms

    The power and potential of machine learning and predictive AI are some of the driving forces behind the success of companies like Netflix and Amazon. For example, Amazon is leveraging AI to speed up deliveries by minimising the distance between where products are warehoused and customers. It analyses data and demand patterns to predict which products will be needed and where, then auto-updates to offer next-day delivery and same-day services for products close enough to customers.

  • How you can use predictive AI and algorithms to improve the delivery experience
    • Increase first-time delivery success rates by using AI algorithms to predict the most convenient location to receive deliveries.
    • Introduce an AI-powered delivery date scheduling feature that can suggest alternative delivery dates based on customer preferences. 
    • You can even use algorithms to dynamically optimise delivery routes based on real-time traffic and weather conditions, improving efficiency and reducing emissions.
Choosing delivery options on app

Technology can determine the most efficient route from the warehouse to the doorstep

  • How to use technology to provide a more eco-conscious delivery experience

    As companies and consumers become increasingly aware of the environmental impact of eCommerce, it is critical that brands take measures to make online shopping as green as possible. AI and tech can smooth the transition at every stage of the delivery process, helping customers make carbon-conscious choices, shortening driving routes, and minimising waste.

  • How to leverage technology to make your delivery “green”
    • Introduce carbon calculators at the checkout to promote customer awareness and provide an option to pay to offset these emissions. 
    • Use algorithms to optimise delivery routes and minimise time spent on the road. Try implementing a digital communication system between drivers and customers so that customers can request that their packaging be collected and reused or recycled. 
    • Use algorithms to promote green delivery slots, encourage customers to select more efficient routes, or even install smart returns bins in convenient locations, allowing customers to make returns without additional packaging or individual collections.
AI messaging for deliveries

Customers can interact with the delivery person

  • Getting the delivery experience right

    One thing that emerged from our research is that, for the most part, consumers are relatively content with the current experience. But there is definitely room for improvement, and they see that, too. It is those retailers and carriers who recognise this and see the potential of adopting even small delivery experience changes who will reap the rewards. The digital customer journey is one that is continuously evolving as new technologies enter the market; therefore, the responsibility lies with brands to adopt and adapt to stay ahead of the competition.

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