Cape Town, 10 October 2022 – The Black Friday buzz is already at fever pitch as retailers gear up for one of the biggest shopping events of the year.
With the worst of the pandemic behind us, shoppers are expected to flock to ecommerce sites looking for great deals ahead of Christmas.
It’s no secret that consumers have taken to buying online like ducks to water. Data from payment services provider PayGate showed a 43.4% year-on-year increase in the volume of transactions for Black Friday 2021 in South Africa.
With such volumes in play, it’s become essential for online retailers to be on top of their game. Aside from ensuring sites are easy to use, Black Friday deals are displayed prominently on the platform and different payment options are offered, it’s also important that your business boasts excellent last mile delivery capacity.
There’s nothing worse than late or missed deliveries, particularly when Black Friday shoppers are champing at the bit to get their hands on their purchase. To remove the risk of this happening, the following tips can help you fail proof your last mile delivery offering:
Data, data, data!
With orders coming in thick and fast on Black Friday, data capacity is crucial for up-to-the-minute tracking information, faster communications, and automated procedures. It’s all about managing the end-to-end process as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Find the right partner
Selecting the right delivery partner is a must. It’s important for you to do a thorough background check on couriers to make sure they’re trusted by customers and aren’t known for breakdowns or missed or late delivery. At the end of the day, it’s your business’s reputation at stake and a quality courier can make all the difference.
Trust through tracking
Studies have found that 93% of online shoppers want to stay informed throughout the delivery process. Almost half won’t order again from a business that doesn’t keep them informed every step of the way. In other words, real-time tracking and communications is non-negotiable.
The click & collect model has become hugely popular around the world, with South Africa being no exception. It’s particularly beneficial to the country’s townships and rural areas, where residents might not have convenient access to home delivery or high crime rates scare away couriers. South African smart logistics platform Pargo has partnered with retailers and small businesses as pickup points in these areas. Now there’s no need to wait for couriers or deal with the uncertainty of when a delivery will take place; residents can simply collect from a pickup point near them when it suits them .
The last thing you want on Black Friday is for inventory processing to go awry. By effectively monitoring stock from warehouse to consumer, the process can be improved and optimised. There is the added benefit of customer service response teams being able to provide customers with the most up-to-date information about their orders.
More and more customers are environmentally conscious in their purchases. Your business needs to keep reduction of your carbon footprint in mind when it comes to shipping strategies. A green focus can make you stand out from the crowd in an increasingly competitive ecommerce environment.
Recognise growing markets
A survey of township residents in 2021 found that 70% of people are now shopping online. That percentage stood at just 28% in 2020. Cheaper data offered by major internet providers is changing buying patterns, and etailers need to bear this in mind on Black Friday. Geo-location apps might not pick up specific areas in townships, which is why click & collect may be the best last mile delivery option in these areas.
Pargo is a Cape Town-based tech company that solves the challenges of last-mile logistics through its smart logistics platform and fulfilment solutions, which are anchored by a vast, nationwide network of thousands of Pargo Pickup Points. Pioneering Click & Collect back in 2015, Pargo continues to develop their technology and processes to make fulfilment solutions fit for the African logistics landscape, including Home Delivery, Returns and micro-warehousing. Clients that use their tech include Edgars, rain, TFG, Cape Union Mart, Clicks and HomeChoice.
Lars Veul is the CEO and co-founder of Pargo, a smart logistics platform that simplifies online delivery through its tech-enabled network of Pargo access points. Prior to starting Pargo, Lars was part of the founding team at Groupon, where he headed up the online marketplace, which exposed him to the challenges of online delivery. He is also an Alibaba eFounders fellow and is part of Endeavor.