Use Dynamics 365 to ensure accuracy of shipping times

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As more customers look online to make retail purchases, it’s important that businesses do not just sell a great product, but that they also know how to get it to the customer. The accuracy of shipping time is a vital consideration for anyone looking to sell online.

And, in 2018, you really should be looking to sell online.

The trend is clear. Each year the percentage of retail sales that occur online is increasing and there is no sign that it is going to reverse. It’s not that brick and mortar is unimportant, but a retailer can no longer afford to ignore the online market.

It is projected that e-commerce sales will represent 13.7% of the total of all retail sales in the U.S. by 2021. That would represent a growth of 136% from 2013.


And, it’s not just an American trend. Worldwide, it is estimated that e-commerce sales will total about $4.1-Trillion by 2021.

This is clearly a market that you want to be a part of. The problem is that it’s a market that a lot of people are going to want to be a part of and competition will be fierce. Complicating this is that the ten biggest online retailers now represent 72% of all e-commerce sales, with the biggest seller, Amazon, holding an intimidating 49% share.

Those figures may seem daunting to smaller retailers looking to jump into the online sales environment – especially when retailers like Amazon are making delivery time promises that are beyond the ability of most.

Speed isn’t everything

Don’t fret. Although the ability to deliver fast is a nice advantage to have, it’s not the be-all-end-all in most consumer’s minds. Independent research has found that 92% of costumers are willing to wait three or more days for their online purchases to arrive if the shipping is included for free.

What consumers won’t accept, however, is poor customer service. That same study found that nearly 1/3 of customers indicated that a bad customer service experience would make it likely that they never used that retailer again. And, among the biggest factors in a customer having a poor customer service experience was a failure of an online retailer to live up to their ship date promise.

In fact, another study found that 69 percent of respondents were much less or less likely to shop with a retailer in the future if the item they purchased was not delivered within two days of the date promised.

There’s a lesson here: It’s OK to be slow, if needed, but don’t be inaccurate in estimating when you can get the product to where it’s supposed to be.

Dynamics 365 can help

This is where Dynamics 365 is invaluable to an online retailer. The Order Promising feature within Dynamics 365 allows retailers to accurately determine a delivery date when entering a sales order. In turn, accurate delivery information is passed on to the customer. That way there are no surprises and no bad feelings.

Order Promising calculates the earliest ship and receipt dates and is based on the delivery date control method and transport days. You can select among four delivery date control methods:

Sales lead time, which is the time between when the order is made and the item is shipped is calculated based on a default number of days. This method is best used in industries where the availability of the product being shipped is predictable and not dependent on external factors or shipments.

Available-to-promise (ATP) and ATP + Issue Margin is likely the best option for most businesses. ATP calculates the quantity of an item that is available and that can be promised to a customer on a specific date. It includes uncommitted inventory, lead times, planned receipts, and issues. ATP + Issue Margin takes everything that is considered in ATP and adds in the time that is required to prepare the items for shipment.

Capable-to-promise -- anticipating demand and matching to peak production and capacities -- can also be used to determine when you can deliver.

Regardless of what method you use, there is clear evidence that it is important to provide your customers with clear, accurate information on when they can expect their order to arrive on their doorstep.

And, then you need to deliver!

If you have any further questions about how Order Promising and Dynamics 365 can work for you give the experts at CRM Dynamics a call.

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