Benjamin Franklin, wise man that he was, famously said that only two things in life are certain: death and taxes. However, we’re fairly sure you’ll be hungry for dinner the evening of June 5. If you’re attending IRCE 2013, we’d love to see you at the IRCE 2013 Networking Party!
Join us to hob nob with eCommerce experts and e-tailers alike at Chicago’s famous House of Blues, located in Chicago’s historic Marina City on the Chicago River, from 7:30-10:30 p.m.
The evening is sure to be enjoyable. Come for the live music and the delicious food, which will be both passed and served at stations, from the House of Blues’ celebrity chef, Aaron Sanchez of Food Network fame.
Tickets are available for this fun evening of networking and good food and drinks. Tickets include complimentary shuttle bus transportation to and from the House of Blues, McCormick Place and the official IRCE hotels.
Last year’s party was awesome, and we hope to see you in two weeks!
The next big event on Newgistics’ calendar is Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition 2013 (IRCE) in Chicago June 4-7. We’re proud to be a gold sponsor of this year’s show!
IRCE is home to the world’s largest eCommerce exhibit hall with more than 250,000 square feet of showroom floor and 600+ exhibits, where the best the Internet has to offer jumps off the screen and shakes your hand. This year’s theme is “Breaking Barriers Toward a New Retail Economy.” The agenda will highlight the forces that have shaken up retail as we used to know it and are creating a new retail: mobile, social, global, personal, managerial and interactive.
The lineup for this year’s show is very exciting. 2013 offers a record 120 panel sessions, described by Internet Retailer as being “devoted to analyzing how eCommerce is breaking down traditional barriers and creating a new retail economy.” Highlighting the show’s agenda is Internet commerce champion and former Vice President Al Gore, who will appear as a special guest speaker. His keynote session “The Global View: the Internet, business and the worldwide opportunity” will take place on June 5, from 9:45-10:15 a.m.
You can find us at booth #1721, located in Pavilion A. Our team of experts will be on hand to discuss how e-Tailers can improve the shopping experience—and processes across departments—with our order fulfillment, parcel delivery and returns management solutions. We believe fulfillment and shipping should be about more than just packing and moving parcels. With Newgistics, they can open up new opportunities to build your brand and business.
If you’re struggling with how to deliver on your brand promise across channels, or your business is online-only and you need to find new ways to improve efficiency without sacrificing customer satisfaction, please take a minute to stop by and learn more about our end-to-end eCommerce solutions.
April has turned to May, and event season continues in full swing. This week, you can find Newgistics at the 8th Annual Green Mountain Consulting Leadership Summit, this Wednesday and Thursday in downtown Memphis, Tennessee.
This year’s focus is on the “Parcel network evolution: Executing for today, planning for tomorrow.” Summit participants will learn from case study driven sessions to gain a better understanding of the characteristics of each stage of the parcel network lifecycle and the strategies that can be used to optimize each stage, as well as how to better manage parcel networks at different points of maturity and growth.
Our director of sales, Patrick Allard, will lead a session Wednesday, May 15 at 4 p.m. He’ll speak on the topic Creating the Best Returns Processes in an Evolving Direct to Consumer Market.
Customers and prospects consider shippers’ returns policies and processes an important factor in their buying decision and brand loyalty. Yet, most merchants agree that their returns processes are far from perfect, especially in a continuously evolving “omnichannel” world. This session will present a case study on how Newgistics helped a shipper create a roadmap for implementing returns handling best practices to address customers’ needs for today and tomorrow.
Navigating the complexities of omnichannel retailing is daunting. We hope you’re able to attend this week’s summit, but if you won’t be there, please don’t hesitate to contact Newgistics to learn more about how delivering boxes can help you deliver the best customer service no matter how, where or when your customers shop.
Multichannel Merchant’s second annual Operations Summit is off to a great start. Here are a few photos from the first day of the show.
It was a full house at Patrick Allard’s session “Creating Your Best Omnichannel Returns Process.” Allard, our director of sales, discussed a road map that will make retailers’ returns handling a reason customers shop with them.
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Speaker Patrick Allard will share secrets and best practices to create a seamless omnichannel returns process
AUSTIN, Texas—April 23, 2013—Newgistics, a provider of order fulfillment, parcel delivery and returns management solutions, today announced it is the headline sponsor of the 2013 Operations Summit, April 23 – 25 in Columbus, Ohio. Patrick Allard, Newgistics’ director of sales, will speak on Wednesday, April 24th at 11:15 on the topic of “Creating Your Best Omnichannel Returns Process.”
In its second year, Multichannel Merchant’s Omnichannel Summit is the only conference exclusively designed for eCommerce and catalog operations and fulfillment. The conference covers all areas of direct-to-customer sales, including warehouse; order management; picking, packing and packaging; reverse logistics; inventory management; shipping, distribution and delivery; technology, IT and systems integration; transportation; customer service, call and contact center; HR/workforce management; and payment processing and fraud prevention.
“We’re proud to sponsor a show specifically catered to the unique issues of direct-to-consumer merchants,” said Patrick Allard, Newgistics Director of Sales. “One of Newgistics’ core values is to improve retailers’ bottom lines through stronger, more loyal relationships with their customers. Operations Summit connects Newgistics with merchants that share the same priorities and are passionate about customer engagement.”
Allard’s session, “Creating Your Best Omnichannels Returns Process,” will be held in the Delaware CD room on Wednesday. Allard will speak alongside a retail partner, and the session will help merchants learn how to improve returns efficiencies while reducing costs; deliver a better customer experience and improve customer loyalty; create cross-channel marketing opportunities; and boost asset recovery savings.
Additionally, Newgistics will exhibit at booth #103. If you would like to discuss your organization’s needs for fulfillment, delivery and returns solutions, please feel free to stop by the booth.
About Newgistics, Inc.
Newgistics provides order fulfillment, parcel delivery and returns management solutions for top brands in direct-to-consumer retail and other industries. With Newgistics, fulfillment and shipping go far beyond packing and moving parcels. Every order and return processed by Newgistics opens up new opportunities for merchants to improve the shopping experience and their own efficiency. To find out more, visit www.newgistics.com.
Jeff Ketner or Brittany Johnson
Ketner Group PR + Marketing (For Newgistics)
If you’re attending the show, be sure to check out the session “Creating Your Best Omnichannel Returns Process” on Wednesday, April 24th at 11:15 a.m. Our own Patrick Allard, director of sales, will lead the session and be joined by a retailer partner. Here’s the full description:
Customers and prospects consider your returns policies and processes an important factor in their buying decision and brand loyalty. Yet, most merchants agree that their returns processes are far from perfect, especially in an “omnichannel” world. Here’s your chance to go back to your organization with a road map that will make your returns handling a reason for customers to do business with you. Be a hero, attend this session and learn how to:
• Improve returns operational efficiency
• Save dollars in your processes
• Create an incremental revenue stream
• Reduce contact center involvement
• Create improved customer experience and retention
• Create cross-channel marketing opportunities
• Boost asset recovery savings
In addition to leading the session “Creating Your Best Omnichannel Returns Process” on Wednesday, Patrick will also moderate the roundtable discussion “Improving the Returns Process” on Thursday, April 25th from 12:45-1:30 p.m.
Newgistics will exhibit at booth #103. If you would like to discuss your organization’s need for fulfillment, delivery and returns solutions, please feel free to stop by the booth.
Operations Summit is the only conference exclusively designed for eCommerce and catalog operations and fulfillment. The conference covers all areas of direct-to-customer sales, including warehouse; order management; picking, packing and packaging; reverse logistics; inventory management; shipping, distribution and delivery; technology, IT and systems integration; transportation; customer service, call and contact center; HR/workforce management; and payment processing and fraud prevention.
Both Newgistics and the retailers we serve want you to have the best order experience possible. Here are a couple of tips for how to find answers to your questions regarding a package being handled by Newgistics.
Questions about the status of your order?
Newgistics recommends you call or email the retailer from whom you made your purchase. The retailer’s customer service department will be able to review your order history, provide you a tracking number and an updated shipment status, as well as answer any questions or address any additional concerns you may have about the merchandise or shipping.
Can Newgistics answer my questions about my package?
Newgistics is committed to your complete satisfaction, and we work hard behind the scenes with retailers to provide you with a great shipping experience.
Welcome to the first edition of Newgistics’ report on the industry’s biggest trends. We hope to deliver relevant, interesting stories directly to your inbox to help make it easier to stay abreast of one of the fastest paced verticals – eCommerce. We’ll cover retail, logistics, and everything in between, including online, mobile and social commerce, and consumer trends.
eCommerce: Upward Trend Continues, Where’s the Top?
Expect rapid rise in online shopping to peak, expert says. From the Tampa Bay Times.
NRF: Online holiday sales rise 11.1% in 2012. From Multichannel Merchant.
Pivoting from auctioneers to online sellers–eBay takes on Amazon. From Fast Company.
A sunny forecast for e-retail. From Internet Retailer.
comScore: Retail e-commerce hit $186.2b in 2012 thanks to 15% growth, the strongest since before the recession. From The Next Web.
Transportation & Logistics–Moving Retail
Do consumers want same-day shipping? From Internet Retailer.
Small e-retailers have big plans. From Internet Retailer.
Is manufacturing bouncing back? Global activity points to a better 2013. From Manufacturing Executive.
Trying to stem losses, Post Office seeks to end Saturday letter delivery. From The New York Times.
Shoppers Go Mobile
Forrester: U.S. mobile payments market predicted to reach $90B by 2017, up from $12.8B in 2012. From Tech Crunch.
More shoppers reach for mobile to browse, buy. From eMarketer.
Mobile drives 11 percent of e-Commerce in 2012 holiday quarter. From clickz.com.
Mobile’s retail power comes from…the couch? From MediaPost.
Newgistics aggregates content originally published at independent websites, and the news, views and opinions expressed within the articles originally published elsewhere do not necessarily reflect those of Newgistics. Links are subject to change or expire outside the control of Newgistics. Some sources may require user registration or a paid subscription. The bold text is Newgistics’ commentary and is not a verbatim quote from the linked-to articles.
Retail enterprises often organize management departments by channel. There’s the mobile team, the e-Commerce group, the brick-and-mortar operations department. Each department develops their own content, plans their own promotions, uses their own technology and reports to different bosses independent of each other. The trouble with this common scenario, though, is that the retailer’s shopper does not differentiate between channels. These invisible differences on the back-end do not change the shopper’s expectations of its relationship with the brand, but can disrupt the consistent experience shoppers anticipate. Consumers expect the same value, selection, quality, service and overall positive experience across all of the selling channels available to them.
It is more critical than ever to deliver on your brand promise, and not just in the store. A seamless omni-channel experience rewards loyal customers and inspires confidence to shop with you again in the future. And with the unlimited choices online shoppers face with even where to shop, much less the infinite selection of product on e-tailers’ endless aisles, winning repeat business in-store, online and on mobile devices is of utmost importance to a retailer’s success.
Retailers and e-tailers must think like their customer. When your customers shop with you, which channels are they shopping? What is their path to purchase—are they shopping online before or after a store visit? How near or far do online shoppers live to the closest physical location?
Based on these factors, and with customers’ expectations in mind, retailers should evaluate and optimize the following areas to deliver a world class, seamless brand experience at every customer touchpoint:
1. Price and promote consistently across channels. Technology-savvy shoppers are often flummoxed when they find that the price in-store is different from that online. To save the in-store sale, retailers should implement price-matching policies with themselves—the store will match the online price. Integrating technology across different channels’ marketing and sales team can create complimentary pricing policies that reflect similar promotions. Cross-channel pricing is too complex a topic to delve into in-depth here, but it is an area the most successful omni-channel retailers have mastered, and one that all retailers should consider seriously.
2. Offer online shoppers the ability to return merchandise in-store or with a pre-paid returns shipping label for a convenient, hassle-free experience. A return is almost always an experience at least bordering on the negative—perhaps the shopper realized they cannot afford the merchandise, the product was damaged in some way or did not meet the customer’s quality expectations, or the fit was wrong. One of the best ways to deliver a seamless omni-channel experience is to integrate your backend technology and separate digital channels with your traditional brick-and-mortar stores and in-store technology. Allow online shoppers to return merchandise, even online-only merchandise, to the store, and explicitly state this in an easy-to-understand returns policy. This integrated solution would allow for instant or early credit on returned merchandise purchased online but returned in the store, so the consumer is open to buy again onsite and primed for a sales associate to upsell on the original order. An integrated system would also allow online shoppers to print a returns label in the store to send the merchandise back to warehouse. These expedited returns not only benefit customers, they also benefit the retailer by reincorporating the merchandise back into inventory, hopefully before markdowns are made, while a unified inventory system across all channels gives retailers one true version of data from which to base decisions. For the customer that wants to return from home, offer a best in class pre-paid USPS SmartLabel® for a convenient, hassle-free experience. With an intergrated eCcommerce returns label, retailers can leverage email and text notifications to communicate with customers to mimic the up-sell, cross sell and loyalty promotions that your consumers experience when interacting with in-store trained associates. Never lose the power of valuable customer interaction regardless of what channel is used to return merchandise.
3. Deliver the same level of customer service across all channels. Customers expect to be treated well no matter where or how they shopped. If you’re a retailer with a strong reputation for delivering excellent customer service in-store, do not skimp on providing the same level of service to your online, mobile and catalog shoppers. Evaluate your call center capacity and procedures—how long is the wait time? Are your in-store sales associates more knowledgeable or better trained? Is there a language barrier? How often do call center representatives issue refunds versus correct the order to save the sale and capitalize on the customer contact to up-sell? An honest evaluation of customer service across all channels can go a long way in consistently delivering on your brand’s promise.
Consistency across all customer channels and touchpoints is the key to satisfying shoppers’ expectations. Positive shopping experiences can create a positive ripple effect across the enterprise, possibly resulting in new customer acquisition and customer retention, reduced call center volume, improved inventory management, better labor planning and more efficient operations, all of which reduce cost. Breaking down organization silos between sales channels not only streamlines enterprise operations, but better enables retailers and e-tailers to deliver exactly what shoppers expect—a seamless omni-channel experience.
For most Americans, shopping online is nothing new. In fact, 53% of Americans purchased something online in 2011. But while shopping online is not exactly novel, it’s still a process that can be fraught with indecision, uncertainty and, when something occasionally does not meet expectations, frustration for consumers. For some online shoppers, there are a lot of unknowns when buying sight unseen, such as:
Fortunately for e-tailers, many of these concerns can be addressed and minimized in two simple steps.
1. Have a clear, well-defined returns policy.
Returns policies that clearly state when an item can be returned and for what reasons can give would-be purchasers the confidence to click “buy.” Review your current returns policy and ensure that it includes specific instructions on how and where online returns can be made—can they be returned in-store? Do they include a pre-paid returns label? Can they be dropped off at any U.S.P.S. location?
2. Provider your customers with detailed package tracking information.
Partner with a reverse logistics company that provides detailed data for both retailer and consumer. Newgistics’ Transit Triggers service starts with dynamic barcodes on our delivery and SmartLabel® return shipping labels. They’re embedded with an extraordinarily rich level of data, integrating tracking information with order-specific details.
Here’s how Transit Triggers Work:
Once an order ships, parcel scan events can generate automated customer emails containing updates on shipment status as well as precisely targeted marketing messages. So while you’re providing peace of mind, you can cross-sell similar merchandise or offer promotions based on the customer’s order history. Newgistics even enables you to start notifying customers about tracking events sooner, since we provide visibility on outbound parcels as soon as they enter our network.
Even when orders are returned, you can transform the anxious wait for an account credit into a positive brand interaction that promotes repeat purchases.
Eliminating the “black hole” of uncertainty with an easy-to-understand, customer-centric returns policy and an accessible package tracking system goes a long way toward building a shopper’s confidence and improving their willingness to purchase online. While shopping online may have lost its novelty, shopping online with greater confidence will not go out of fashion.