Order Management & Fulfillment

Timing is everything when it comes to customer expectations

By Katie Devlin posted Mon August 12, 2019 02:06 PM


As quickly as the world is changing, there are still fundamental human connections and relationships that are more valuable than a “double tap” on an Instagram post.  Whether it’s celebrating a milestone birthday, gathering around the family table, or even a “just because” moment… each of these things represent people coming together to appreciate and recognize the little things in life.

Celebrating your loved ones should be a similar relationship to the one you have with your beloved customers. Understanding and adapting to each person’s individual preferences and expectations can be the ultimate driver of customer loyalty.

So how can you find success when it comes to exceeding customer expectations? Here are 3 tips:

An omnichannel conversion path

The recent Instagram announcement of in-app purchasing didn’t arise out of thin air. The demand for a quicker, easier, and convenient buying experience is real. Given the average age of an Instagram user is between 25-34, this should be no surprise. But what does this mean for businesses like yours? You can’t simply focus on your e-commerce storefront. Your customers are telling you that they want options when engaging with your brand – mobile app, in-store, social, etc. And it’s not just about completing a purchase. There needs to be flexibility in making a return or exchange too. The ability to make it to a store these days is far and few between. Convenient return and exchange options are a must in 2019.

Up-to-date inventory insights

There’s nothing worse than disappointing a valued customer with an “item out of stock” notice after they completed a purchase. This frustration is what drives your shoppers to your competitor.  To capture incremental sales and nurture the loyalty of its customers, Fossil adopted a unified approach to order management and fulfillment across its global business. “To achieve our goals, we knew we needed to break down the walls between our channels and move toward shared pools of inventory,” said Kim Glasscock, IT Solution Manager of Retail at Fossil Group, Inc.

Having real-time insights into where your inventory is across all locations is a key differentiator to meet customer expectations. This will allow customers to choose exactly when, where and how they shop with your brand – on their time and at their speed.

High-quality shopping experiences

Glasscock shares, “Our customers increasingly want retail journeys that keep up with the pace of their lives—and omnichannel fulfillment behind the scenes plays a key role in delivering on those expectations.”

The same customer who purchased directly from you on Instagram is also visiting their local store to make a last-minute purchase. What is this shopper looking for? They want the same seamless buying journey that they experienced on social – one that is quick and efficient! When they are picking up a purchase in-store that they bought online, they want to be in and out of that store – or maybe not even enter the store if curbside pick-up is offered. When they are browsing in-store, there is likely a strong intent to purchase during that visit. What happens if their size isn’t available in-store?  Save the sale by shipping from a nearby location directly to their hotel room the next day!

Fossil has the right idea in what they are doing to create a timeless customer experience. While they are currently focused on optimizing the initial processes they have in place, they’re looking forward to implementing machine learning to help identify hidden trends that will take the business to the next level.

Read the Fossil case study to learn more.