A Dynamic Partnership: How Marketing and Supply Chain Ops Can Work Better Together

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Featured in SupplyChainBrain.

recent study by EY revealed that 25% of consumers consider slow delivery speeds as the most frustrating part of online shopping. The same study also found that one in five consumers believe they won’t forgive brands that don’t deliver on their promises.

It also highlights the importance of prioritizing communication between the marketing and supply chain departments.

Let’s put it this way. Steering a retail business on the path of success comes with several challenges. You need a rock-solid strategy to attract, acquire, and retain customers. This, in turn, highlights the need for prioritizing seamless order fulfillment.

Whether you’re running a brick-and-mortar establishment or an online store, customer satisfaction is crucial for sustaining your business. A flawless purchase experience helps you win the trust and loyalty of your customers. It leads to more repeat purchases, and ultimately, boosts your revenue.

Focusing on customer experience is all the more essential, considering the changing demands and preferences of modern consumers. In this age of top-notch online stores and marketplaces, consumers are used to fast, affordable, and hassle-free order deliveries. They don’t have the time to wait for their orders to arrive after days or weeks.

But luring customers with the temptation of free shipping and same-day delivery isn’t enough. You must also have the support of your logistics team to deliver on those promises. This, in turn, emphasizes the importance of seamless communication between marketing and supply chain ops.

In this blog, we’ll delve deeper into the role of marketing and supply chain ops in modern retail businesses. Also, we’ll discuss how these departments need to work together for a positive impact on the bottom line. 

Let’s get started.

The Role of Marketing and Supply Chain Ops in Retail

Targeted marketing campaigns are integral to the survival of every business. They help you attract the right consumers and convert them into loyal customers. A marketing strategy is just as crucial for building a lasting relationship with existing customers.

On the other hand, supply chain ops are indispensable to successful order fulfillment and last-mile delivery. Acquiring a customer with the promise of same-day delivery isn’t enough. Your supply chain team is the one responsible for keeping those promises.

From timely product delivery to stress-free returns,  supply chain ops play a key role in enhancing the customer experience. Also, the team handles the task of coordinating with various vendors, suppliers, and logistics providers.

Marketing & Supply Chain Ops: Understanding the Connection

The most common mistake that retailers make is to ignore the importance of coordination between marketing and supply chain teams. Keeping these departments siloed can take a toll on customer satisfaction and revenue.

Let’s say the marketing department offers free shipping on a bulky product. When a customer orders that product, the supply chain team calculates the shipping cost. They realize that providing free shipping will affect the profit margin. But asking the customer to pay extra shipping charges will adversely affect your reputation and credibility.

Ultimately, you’re faced with the dilemma of choosing between customer satisfaction and revenue.

Likewise, the marketing department might offer next-day delivery for a bulky item without consulting the supply chain team. If the logistics department doesn’t have sufficient equipment or workforce to execute a next-day delivery, it’ll take a toll on customer experience.

That’s the reason every retailer must avoid letting their marketing and supply chain teams work in isolation. Instead, the two departments must collaborate to inform each other with relevant data and feedback.

How to Improve Collaboration Between Marketing & Supply Chain Ops

Start by establishing a closed-loop system where each department supports the other with relevant data and actionable insights. For instance, your marketing team will have a better idea of evolving consumer preferences and emerging industry trends. Sharing that information with supply chain ops will help them get the right logistics to adapt to new consumer demands.

Similarly, your supply chain team can evaluate the viability and profitability of certain promotions. Offering free shipping on bulky items might seem like a great marketing move. But supply chain ops can provide a more realistic picture of the costs involved in product delivery.

Likewise, they’re in a better position to assess the feasibility of same-day or next-day delivery for customers in specific locations.

Providing the marketing team with these insights will help them optimize their messaging and develop viable promotional offers. Also, it’ll give them a better idea of how their efforts are going to affect overall business revenue and profits.

Moreover, marketing and supply chain ops should work in tandem to improve customer satisfaction with personalized promotions. The marketing department has the data and resources to identify loyal customers who make repeat purchases. Supply chain ops can use that information to prioritize seamless order fulfillment for such customers.

Final Thoughts

In the retail landscape, marketing and supply chain ops are indispensable to each other. Both departments must strive to keep each other on the same page to make well-informed decisions. Marketing teams must share their promotional calendar with supply chain ops well in advance. Likewise, it’s essential for the supply chain team to support marketing campaigns with useful data collected from real-life customers.

Dolly helps modern retailers provide timely, stress-free, and customizable last-mile delivery services to customers. We specialize in providing on-demand delivery of bulky items, such as furniture and flooring materials. Visit our website to learn more about our services.

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