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Yuletide: DHL wants retailers to optimise supply chains for customer satisfaction

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Lagos – An official of DHL Worldwide, has advised people in retail businesses to pay careful attention to their supply chains as operations and delivery were key to client satisfaction during the Yuletide.

The official, Oliver Facey, who is Vice President of Operations for DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa, gave the advice in a statement on Wednesday in Lagos.

The statement said that taking such a measure would enable them to maximise brand exposure and increase revenue.

It noted that e-commerce shopping experience was increasingly becoming a popular option for consumers during the festive season.

“Retailers therefore need to pay careful attention to their supply chains during this period, as operations and delivery are key to client satisfaction, maximising brand exposure and increasing revenue,’’ it said.

It quoted the 2015 Benchmark report series: “Ecommerce Holiday Trends’’, which showed that November and December drive 30 per cent more e-commerce revenue than non-holiday months.

“This surge highlights the impact of holiday season spending habits and why retailers need to optimise their service levels should they want to capitalise on consumers’ increased spending power over this period.’’[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”70560″]

It said that while Africa’s e-commerce industry was still relatively small in comparison to more mature markets, it continues to grow steadily each year.

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The growth, it noted, was seen, especially in light of consumers having increased access to the internet via mobile technology and a fast growing middle class.

The statement said that a McKinsey & Company report revealed that by 2025, e-commerce could account for 10 per cent of retail sales in the continent’s largest economies and translate into 75 billion dollars in annual revenue.

“In the build up to the traditional festive season shopping rush, retailers — both brick and mortar and e-commerce stores — need to ensure that platforms are effectively managed to manage the influx of business.

“Customer service is an area that needs attention. Often, businesses hire temporary staff during this period, so it is vital that adequate training is provided to guarantee that a high level of service delivery is maintained.

“And that employee is geared to handle any additional enquiries driven by the sudden surge in customers.

“As a service business, at DHL we ensure that we have sufficient Certified International Specialists on duty.

“Not only from an operational and customer service point of view, but also from support functions such as finance that will ensure we can resolve any account queries before the year closes,’’ it said.

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It quoted Facey as saying that in terms of e-commerce platforms, this period is a highly competitive one, and supply chain management strategies were critical to effectively manage the increased demand.

“Many platforms offer free or express shipping options, promotions and discounts.

“All of these are geared to drive and maximise sales when consumer spending is at its peak.

“This is a crucial part for retailers, as overselling a product or service and then being unable to deliver has the potential to do far more harm than good,’’ the statement said.

“Retailers need to ensure their supply chain management is agile enough to handle the increased volume.

“To maximize profitability, retailers need quick, smart, cost-effective methods to fulfill orders timeously and accurately across multiple sales channels.

“Effective reverse logistics is also essential for managing returns and keeping the industry moving.’’

The statement said that ultimately, it was essential for retail operations to perform optimally during this busy period, as it’s an opportunity to demonstrate their capabilities to a larger audience.

It added that in short term, it will maximise profits, but in the long term, deliver return customers. (NAN)

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