THE LAST MILE PROMISE: SUPPLY CHAIN GOES PHYGITAL
Business Of Fashion|December 2021
Customer behaviour has changed in the post-pandemic world and today, depending on what customers expect from a brand they are shopping from, the brand or the retailer is changing his strategy of doing business. It is all about putting the right supply chain forward, inclusive of a good last-mile fulfilment device. Experts in the field share some insights with us on the growing importance of CX in last-mile fulfilment.
Yash Bhatia

When COVID-19 hit, digitalisation became a buzzword and every business in the sector began to adapt to the digital way. Post its being declared a pandemic, brick-and-mortar retailers closed their stores due to the many curbs and took the omnichannel way of doing business. Along with all other functions, the supply chain, too, adopted digital technologies to give a better experience to the customer. Today, with customers viewing same-day deliveries as a necessity rather than a privilege and their buying behaviour having changed drastically, the supply chain is emerging as a crucial factor to enhancing the customer experience (CX) and driving heavy sales for retailers.

Panellists

Anil Menon, Head of IT, LuLu Group India

Anurag Saxena, CIO, BIBA

Atul Mehta, COO, Shiprocket

Gurukeerthi Gurunathan, CoFounder & CTO, Caratlane

Manoj Patel, CIO, House of Anita Dongre

Prashant Bokil, CTO, Being Human

Ranjan Sharma, CIO and Head of Supply Chain, Captive eCommerce & Quality Assurance, Bestseller India

Satish Panchapakesan, Sr. VicePresident and Chief Information Officer, Arvind Fashions

Session Moderator: Siju Narayan, Retail Industry Practitioner and Chief Experience Officer, Rexemptor Consult

At a session (powered by Shiprocket) hosted during the recently-concluded Phygital Retail Convention at Renaissance Hotel, Mumbai on the 10th and 11th of November, panellists further deliberated on the importance of ‘last-mile’ in today’s dynamic business environment.

CX and the Supply Chain

Customer experience doesn’t end after placing an order; the post-purchase behaviour also depends on other factors like creating a great design experience or a great delivery experience, among others. Sharing his view, Ranjan Sharma, CIO and Head of Supply Chain, Captive eCommerce & Quality Assurance, Bestseller India, said, “One of the key things to retain a customer and make them keep coming back and buying from us is the last-mile, post-purchase experience. We can beautifully discover all pre-purchase experiences - they are all durable - but in the postpurchase experience, there are so many players contributing that make it more complex. And, if any brand is able to achieve that, then they can retain the customer for life.”

“Earlier, when you talked about customer experience, the question raised was - is marketing doing a good job? But, now, people have realised where the supply chain is in this whole circle of customer experience”

Anil Menon, Head of IT, LuLu Group India

“The idea or concept of customer experience in supply chain was already there when we all were starting our business, but now these concepts have become more prominent. If your customer is happy, your business will automatically grow”

Manoj Patel, CIO, House of Anita Dongre

“During the pandemic, we had made the transition and it was very difficult for us to complete all the things in one place. If we talk about last mile, we faced many issues there. We’re still learning and making it accurate”

Prashant Bokil, CTO, Being Human

Not only retailers, shopping centres, too, feel the need for upping the customer experience in today’s time and age. Anil Menon, Head of IT, Lulu Group, India, said, “That’s one point which can’t be missed. Supply chain is key, but right now there are many elements that are running around customer experience. Earlier, when you talked about customer experience, the question raised was - is marketing doing a good job? But, now, people have realised where the supply chain is in this whole circle of customer experience.” He believes that both supply chain and IT have now become one and equally contribute to the last mile. The pandemic has made businesses realise that the supply chain is the backbone of the customer experience.

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