The age of the customer

From B2B to B2C, expect 2014 to be the year of the consumer as the importance of customer service becomes more apparent than ever.

In an Australian first, the Online Retail Logistics Conference discussed the shipping barriers and customer expectations with industry speakers from eBay, Australia Post, IBM Australia and

online.logisticsStuart Harker, the Global Retail and Consumer Advisory Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers Australia, summed up the changing online environment in a few simple words; “It’s not just clicking anymore.”

Harker opened the conference by discussing the changing face of retail, why retailers need to `lean-up’ their supply chains and implement strategies to cope with the multi-screening trend of consumers.

Delivery costs and options will also make a big difference, but according to Elie Shuggie from eBay Australia, it isn’t just enough to get the supply chain right as the age of the discerning consumer is upon us.

“Buyers and sellers want to know what’s happening in their terms so they want clear information in the right language – you need to show the buyer that you’ve dropped the parcel and then you need to show them again that it’s been delivered.”

We’ve now entered an age where online customer service is paramount to the success of pureplay and omnichannel retailers. According to eBay shipping expert, free returns is now the `industry standard’ and it can also add favour if you offer a postage label inside the box.

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