New data analytics approach helps retailers improve customer delivery

Major e-grocer in the United Kingdom saw a 4 per cent increase in profits on average over six months when doing a test simulation of the data-driven approach to customer home delivery

Using data analytics to predict when customers want to access home delivery services can help retailers lower delivery fees and become more efficient, researchers claim.

Representatives from Warwick Business School, Lancaster University Management School and the University of Southampton have undertaken new research into a “foresight approach” to home delivery, which predicts when people want their shopping delivered based on what delivery prices or incentives are being quoted for different delivery time slots.

By mining customer data, the new approach takes into account accepted orders to date as well as orders still expected to come in, and creates dynamic pricing for home delivery time slots. This allows retailers to optimise price and timing of delivery and offer discounts on certain time slots.

“Traditionally, online retailers would collect orders including delivery time requests until a certain cut-off time and plan their delivery schedule accordingly,” said Dr Arne Strauss, assistant professor of operational research at Warwick Business School.

“Therefore, maximising profits is a problem because the final set of orders for a given delivery day are not known until shortly beforehand, yet decisions on the pricing of delivery time ‘slots’ have to be made in advance based on an estimate.

“With our new approach we demonstrate that analysing the customer data already at retailers’ fingertips and using it to predict the impact of future expected orders in the estimation of delivery costs produces higher profits than only using orders accepted to date in this estimation.”

Why predictive analytics matters
How predictive analytics is tackling customer attrition at American Express
The keys to smarter data analytics Using data analytics to power customer lifetime value

The researchers conducted a simulation test of their new approach on a major e-grocer in the United Kingdom and saw a 4 per cent increase in profits on average over six months.

Tight profit margins can be an issue for many retailers, especially as more retailers are offering same-day delivery such as fashion retailer, The Iconic. The increase in online shopping spurred on by the growth in adoption of smartphones and tablets is also pushing retailers to find ways to differentiate themselves through their delivery service.

“Business failures such as Webvan who went bankrupt in 2001 after trying to offer a same-day delivery service brought home the message that while small delivery windows appeal to customers, they do cost the retailer money,” Dr Strauss said.

“It is important to incentivise customers and steer them to particular delivery times,” said Dr Strauss. “This could be in the form of ‘points’ or vouchers or even something along the lines of asking the customer to consider the environmental impact.”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia

Signup to CMO’s new email newsletter to receive your weekly dose of targeted content for the modern marketing chief.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments
cmo-xs-promo

Latest Videos

More Videos

I couldn't understand one things why on earth people only talk aboutimpact of digital transformation on banking and finance field instead...

Rajesh Acharya

Digital take-up and experiences help drive Suncorp's solid FY21 performance

Read more

Good afternoon,This is a complaint of the process of refunds which does not comply with Australian legislation. Despite a exhaustive req...

shiree Gilroy

Catch Group combines commercial and marketing role

Read more

I really appreciate your article. Love your Article. By reading your article, its created an idea in my mind about loyalty strategy to ke...

Jack Reacher

Report: Marketers failing to realise the benefits of customer loyalty programs

Read more

One month’s research and we’ve handpicked this generation’s 50 most talented Women CEOs, leading the top multinational companies around t...

Vaishnavi Pillai

Women in leadership the focus on International Women’s Day

Read more

Great post!

deen8

What felix Mobile is doing to keep customer support cost-effective

Read more

Blog Posts

When friction can be a brand’s best friend

I always enjoy those oft-forgotten, in-between moments in any experience. These moments are not necessarily part of any defined experience per se. They likely wouldn’t show up in an organisation’s plans or ideas to help make the customer journey or user flow as simple, easy and seamless as possible.

Rich Curtis

CEO, FutureBrand A/NZ

How much attention should we be paying to the ‘attention economy’?

There’s been a lot of buzz in the advertising industry lately about what’s coined the ‘attention economy’. And it’s fast becoming the new battleground for media channels to prove their wares and to develop and espouse new attention metrics.

Nickie Scriven

CEO, Zenith

Sometimes the best solutions are some of the most counterintuitive

Exceptional CMOs do exceptional things for themselves and for those they inspire. At your best you are creative, innovative and inspirational. We have a problem though. We now live in a corporate world that demands sensibility where everything you do is measurable and stakeholders demand predictability – the antithesis of breakthrough and transformation.

Hamish Thomson

Author, former regional president and global brand head, Mars Incorporated

Sign in