There are a lot of factors in logistics that are out of your hand and things you can’t change.
For instance, you can’t reduce waiting times for clearance for the shipment of your products.
Or you can’t prevent unnecessary traffic on roads that lead to delays in delivery.
Or you can’t make your truck/ship go any faster.
So what is it that you can control?
Technology and innovation are critical to the success of a modern logistics business as the industry is evolving even more so as the buying activities are shifting to mobile technology. Real-time updates via text messaging have become a resourceful yet underrated marketing tactic for shipping companies.
Although logistics companies are aware of the existence of SMS in logistics, they’re very much in the dark about the value it provides. So to clear the air, we’ve listed some top benefits of SMS in the logistics industry.
Read on, you’ll be surprised.
1. Reduced costs
As you scale your e-commerce business, ask yourself, “Is it really practical to call all your dispatchers and customers for every order update? Or every offer? Or every promotional campaign?”
With an increasing number of orders and customers, you need an affordable communication marketing tool. Sending and receiving information through text messages is cheaper and quicker than having to pick up the phone for minor announcements and problems.
There are many tools (for instance, VertexSMS) that are cost-effective and easy to use. They can also be integrated into your daily operations of SMEs and enterprise logistics businesses to make the process even smoother.
2. Improved warehouse management
Effectively administrating warehousing and distribution requires dependable and quick information. Despite this, logistic companies are stuck using time-consuming manual processes that lead to data inaccuracies.
Besides customers, SMS messaging helps you provide real-time updates to staff and warehouse workers. This helps in communicating the same information to the end consumer. An SMS platform that is readily available, cheap, and easy to install would provide a huge impact in the following context.
- SMS enables warehouse managers to receive instant updates about the status of their orders.
- You can keep them updated on delays and system failures.
- In the case of international shipping, time and location barriers make it difficult to keep in touch via constant calls. Instead, an SMS is more feasible for providing a real-time update of the product and ensuring transparency in communication.
- You can automate these key messages and send bulk SMS to all your warehouses for inventory requirements.
- You can send notifications for the amount of space you’ll need in the next shipment.
3. Optimized efficiency
Speed and accuracy can make or break a logistics brand. You want every interested party to get the right information at the right time.
And knowing that speed and availability are the two factors that give a competitive advantage to the logistic sector, SMS marketing can significantly contribute to logistics efficiency. With SMS alerts, you’re paving the way for timely collaboration that facilitates optimized efficiency.
For example, if the customer is not available at the said location when the package arrives, they can quickly get an update from client services for the new delivery date. Even if the truck is stuck in traffic, the driver can notify the warehouse about the delay in delivery.
As covered before, shipments may face various hindrances during transit. The idea is that a quick message can at least keep everyone in the loop and allow them to communicate the right information to the customer. It prevents confusion and reduces the need for frequent staff meetings and group calls.
4. Improved relationships with customers
Imagine your customer receiving a message on a Saturday afternoon that reads, “Dear customer, your yoga pants order is out for delivery. Get ready to receive them tomorrow morning!”
Sometimes, it’s just this little piece of news that brings a lot of anticipation and joy to your customers who are eagerly waiting for their delivery. SMS allows you to send real-time updates without the need for the internet to all your buyers.
Research suggests that 48% of e-commerce shoppers want to receive shipping updates via SMS.
With SMS, you’re also significantly reducing the call time. No customer has to wait to talk to a customer service representative since the alerts sent via SMS replace the need for most over-the-phone contact.
It also makes it convenient for them to reach out to you in case of any queries, making customer service quick and reliable. You can incorporate the right shortcodes through which customers can speak directly to the appropriate representative. You can also use URL shorteners to keep the text neat and make it readable.
All you have to do is set things in motion and put your customers on an SMS list. Once they’re there, you can send out regular reminders, coupon codes, and announcements that will engage customers and encourage additional business. However, getting the permission of employees to receive regular messages from you is essential.
5. Higher number of orders
You might argue that you can send mass emails. But SMS enjoys a massive open rate as compared to emails. The average open rate for SMS is as high as 98% while for emails it is just 20%.
There are numerous reasons why people are more likely to read an SMS than an email. SMS messages are handy, people receive them on their phones, they don’t require internet, or because they are crisp and to the point. And considering that logistics is a very mobile occupation, texts are more convenient to send to associated parties like drivers, customers, and vendors.
For example, LensDirect launched SMS low-supply reminders. They also sent low-supply reminders sent via email which had an average of a 0.53% conversion rate. Compared to that, the text messages yielded a 2.49% conversion rate — a 370% increase. Ultimately, LensDirect was able to increase its orders by 225%. \
6. Better collaboration with drivers
Just the same way texts help warehouse managers, it is also an indispensable tool for dispatchers and drivers. It is also relatively safer since it minimizes distractions. Drivers don’t have to use the phone while driving or delivering and still get the message on time. Some of the best ways they can leverage SMS are:
- Delivery updates: Drivers can send delivery tracking information via SMS. Post the delivery, the dispatcher can simply text pictures once a delivery has been successfully made. This will help with the record-keeping and guarantee quality assurance records.
- Send shift schedule notifications: You can facilitate smooth two-way communication with your field technicians and other employees by sending out schedules or requests for changes and returns.
- Training information: As a logistics company, it’s very challenging to get all your workforce under a single roof to share the latest training information. To ensure that all your employees are in-sync with the latest practices, you can send periodic training updates via SMS.
- Weather delays: Weather is one of the biggest disruptors of logistics schedules. Again, this isn’t something that’s in your control. So to keep the consumer experience intact and inform them in advance, you can quickly send SMS to customers, explaining the situation. You can do the same for your drivers and dispatchers. Send them alerts to delay or hasten their deliveries.
7. Reduced human error
Logistics involve a ton of sensitive information that includes customer details, product details, prices, and addresses. Such information is critical to deliveries. Hence, it doesn’t have room for human error such as lack of remembrance or misplaced addresses.
With SMS, this completely gets taken care of. Sure, even calling works but with SMS you have the information stored in case you want to go back to it. It makes the entire process more efficient and less prone to mistakes. Text messages promote better record keeping and pull messages into inboxes or business systems.
As the logistics industry is becoming more technologically advanced, it is also increasingly depending on the internet. And with something as risky and unpredictable as logistics, you need at least one communication medium that can function without it and is also scalable at the same time. SMS is that medium.
SMS retains the personalized tone in communication and is also not subject to the same capacity restrictions as phone calls. There are numerous companies that facilitate companies to send bulk SMS, thus allowing logistics companies to achieve better productivity at lower costs. With the right implementation, SMS solutions for shipping firms can lift customer service standards and enhance communication on the move.
This is a guest post by Oliver Thyra.
Oliver Thyra is the head SaaS copywriter and content strategist at Your Marketing Digest. His intense passion for marketing and his engineering background in software engineering has made him a guy who understands how to sell software subscriptions with words. In his free time, Oliver enjoys quality time with his pets (he has got 4 golden retrievers!).
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