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Losing Customers? Blame the “Uber Effect”

What comes to mind when you hear the term “brand experience?” Immersive? Entertaining? Exclusive?

While those all might be among new customer expectations, according to new research from Infor, consumers also demand supply chain visibility as a de facto part of their transaction experience with a brand or retailer—and they could drop a brand that’s not delivering on those high standards.

In teaming up with YouGov to survey more than 6,000 consumers across the U.S., UK, Germany and France, Infor discovered that 78 percent want to receive order updates on items they’ve purchased online. In a world where Uber Eats displays virtually every step of your food’s journey from store to door, customers increasingly expect such visibility whenever they purchase anything online, it seems. That could be why nearly half (49 percent) of the 78 percent referenced above said they most want to know their order’s ETA (estimated time of arrival), which can be useful in helping to set expectations and empower consumers to most effectively plan their time. Another 29 percent expressed interest in accessing real-time information on where their order is, perhaps again a result of the “Uber” effect.

In a similar 2016 study with YouGov, Infor found that the fashion vertical was most susceptible to churn, with millennial consumers indicating that they would switch apparel brands if the supply chain wasn’t meeting their needs. However, in the latest survey, fashion fell to third place with 40 percent of consumers saying they’d switch brands, behind groceries (59 percent) and household goods (53 percent). The evidence indicates that consumers’ supply chain expectations are spreading across categories.

Despite the consumer interest in greater insight into the supply chain, just 6 percent of businesses say they’ve achieved full visibility across their supply networks, according to a 2017 GEODIS report.

“In our business, supply chain visibility is frequently cited as a foundational element of innovation and transformation,” Greg Kefer, vice president of marketing for the Infor GT Nexus Commerce Network, said.  “Companies must be able to ‘see’ across the vastness of their global supply chains, so they can identify gaps and make improvements.”