The world of business has long been dominated by one critical turn of phrase: consumer is king. Meaning to promise and deliver quality products and services to a specific target audience, the traditional concept stretches back to the very dawn of retail.
The problem is, times have changed, and so has the average consumer. As we enter a fresh age of business driven by technology, efficiency and sustainability, we’re looking at the new direction of online business.
Keep reading to find out more.
Before we look at the new age of business, it’s crucial to analyse how we got to this point. For generations of small organisations and large corporations, the consumer is king mantra has reigned supreme as a primary strategic driver. Much like the classic phrase ‘the customer is always right’, this concept puts consumer needs at the forefront of decision making.
When this idea came about, the sphere of business was a lot more simplistic. Retailers or service providers would advertise their products and provide them with a straightforward buying and selling process. In the modern world, things aren’t quite as easy.
It’s impossible to dive into consumer trends without talking about technology. Innovations throughout the last century have changed the way we live our lives entirely, whether it’s for better or for worse. When it comes to e-commerce and customer experience, digital has stormed to the top of every business’ priority list – and for good reason.
In 2020, 87% of UK internet users made online purchases, up from 78% in 2018. While part of this statistic can be attributed to the global pandemic, which saw millions confined to their homes, it’s undoubtedly still significant. Lockdown turned digiphobes into regular online users, and not only so they could contact their loved ones. More people than ever before are using the internet to source the goods they need, which is something all retailers should be aware of.
The way we buy and sell is evolving due to technology, and subsequently, so is the concept of the consumer as king. While customer satisfaction should still be a priority, the journey to achieving this is a lot more complicated than it’s ever been before.
In response to the technological world we’re living in, the field of online business is changing. The relationship between consumer and supplier is now being facilitated by one key component: logistics.
The logistics industry provides a host of services that make entrepreneurial activity between two or more parties possible, including transportation, storage and delivery. This works through B2B, B2C and C2C supply chain networks, designed to make national and international trade effective and efficient.
One report in 2018 found that the logistics industry was worth 5.5 trillion euros, a staggering figure that continues to grow into the current decade.
In the aftermath of a pandemic and other political changes, the logistics industry is facing some logistical issues. One of the most significant services carried out by logistics companies is shipping, transcending borders to unite the consumer population of the world. The importance of keeping processes running smoothly was exemplified by the Suez Canal Crisis of 2021.
Earlier this year, Egypt’s Suez Canal was blocked by a container ship the length of four football pitches, closing off a route that usually carries 12% of global trade. While the passage was only shut down for a short period of time, the consequences were enormous.
- $6 billion in estimated trade losses
- Oil prices dropped around the world
- Stock markets rose dramatically
As we can conclude from this recent example, the logistics industry is heavily relied upon to keep the global economy moving.
Logistics and E-Commerce
For every e-commerce business owner, getting to grips with third-party logistics is essential to achieving the success you aspire to. Back-end supply chain management is vital for every retailer, especially those without a brick-and-mortar storefront. Most e-commerce dealers have to rely on third parties to store and distribute their products, saving time and securing your ideal bottom line.
The e-commerce logistics industry grew by 27% in 2020, a considerable increase that’s only set to keep on rising. Investing in the proper logistics services for alcohol brands, particularly those restricted by closer regulations and safety measures, is essential.
As we’ve already established, the growth of technology and our reliance on it as a society has transformed the way we do business. The e-commerce industry was born as a direct result of that, but how has the relationship between consumer satisfaction and logistics changed?
When it comes to providing an excellent customer experience, third party logistics unlock many avenues that lead in that direction. The things consumers want that logistics can provide include:
- Extreme levels of convenience
- Improved and automated communication
- Stability and reliability
- Increased integrity
Better service all-round leads to increased customer loyalty, higher levels of spend and improved profitability for e-commerce businesses. Recognising the importance of logistics and its impact on customer satisfaction is something business leaders must take note of.
Once upon a time, supply chain technology and logistics were only used to support the manufacturing of alcoholic beverages. However, since the demand for faster and more efficient distribution emerged, the alcohol industry has widened its technological outlook.
The majority of brand owners in the modern age need a third-party logistics company to ship their products to distributors and reach the right consumers. As a result of licensing restrictions, they can’t just set up an online store like most retailers. Without the proper logistics services in place, an alcohol brand cannot satisfy and reach modern consumer demands.
If you’re working in the global distribution market or looking for the latest brands to stock up your mixologist bar, we’d love to hear from you. Visit Babco Europe now to find out more about what we do.