Challenges in sharing data have blocked retail supply chain professionals from improving shoppers' customer experience (CX) through better last-mile delivery practices, a survey reveals.
The finding came despite companies' increased understanding and measurement of supply chain's impactÂ on CX, according to the survey commissioned by logistics technology firm Convey Inc. and conducted by conference organizer eyefortransport (eft).
Despite that rising awareness of the importance of supply chain practices to end customers, littleÂ progress has been made towards implementing tools or processes to improveÂ outcomes in the last two years, the survey found. "There's a lot of room for improvement in the lastÂ mile, and it's a really important aspect of the customer experience. It goesÂ backÂ to the basics," Poonam Goyal, sector head/senior retail analystÂ at Bloomberg Intelligence, who provided commentary for the report, said in a release.
The report, titled "The Perfect Order: Overcoming Roadblocks in Last Mile Experience," surveyedÂ more than 230 retail supply chain professionals in order to revisit questions firstÂ tackled in a 2017 survey.
According to the survey results, 96 percent of respondents consider CX important when measuring last mile supply chain performance, upÂ from 83 percent in 2017. However, technologies are still not addressing CX needs—onlyÂ 5 percent of companies said their current systems "fully support efforts to improve the customerÂ experience," barely up from 3 percent two years ago.
In fact, 61 percent reported that their existing systems do nothing to improve CX, down only 5 percent decreaseÂ since 2017. That led 89 percent of survey respondents to say they are not confident they can balance customer experience demands with risingÂ transportation costs.
One of the biggest roadblocks to improved customer experiences is siloed data, the survey found. Two-thirds of companies (66 percent) said that connecting disparate data quickly is among their top three challengesÂ and 18 percent admitted they had zero visibility into distressed shipments. Put another way, 60 percentÂ of customer service and logistics teams don't share delivery feedback or dataÂ about distressed packages with each other.
"While the industry is getting moreÂ sophisticated, [delivery] CX-focused technology solutions are still highlyÂ disaggregated," MattÂ Bergerson, director of omnichannel experience and operations at outdoor clothing retailer REI, said in a release. "Whether it's order management, customer data, freight pay andÂ cost analysis data, or order tracking, there is no one stop shop forÂ solutionsÂ and data sets supporting last mile."
Improving the digital customer experience requires a fundamental shift in culture and processes. In our latest blog, learn which factor was the key to last mile #CX success, according to over 200 supply chain leaders. https://t.co/eKu5xRT5re— Convey (@get_convey) March 25, 2019
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