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Key takeaways from #SCALE

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By Published On: May 24, 20230 Comments

Here are Power Retail's key takeaways from Shippit's #SCALE2023. The event dove deep into why delivery is the next frontier in retail and how to get ahead.

Last Thursday, Allianz Stadium in Sydney hosted over 300 industry professionals for an afternoon of discussions around important trends in retail. The theme of #SCALE this year was focused on why delivery is the next frontier in retail and why it is important to consider core logistics as a key strategic differentiator to:

  • Compete against industry juggernauts commoditising shipping
  • Protect your margins and remain profitable
  • Drive longer relationships with customers

Hosted by Shippit in partnership with Airwallex, Big Commerce, Fluent Commerce, and Hubbed; #SCALE included speakers from Australia Post, Afterpay, eBay, Uber, Koala, Hero Packaging, Accent Group, and more.

While there were five different panels, discussions, and even a debate covering a wide range of topics surrounding delivery, sustainability, scaling and more, there were some key themes that ran throughout the event.

 

Microfulfilment

Keynote speaker Brett Thompson, Principal Director of Digital Innovation at Accenture kicked off the afternoon by introducing a theme that ran throughout the event. His keynote presentation, The Path Towards a Net-Neutral Future Starts With a Greener Last-Mile identified microfulfilment as the faster, cheaper and greener solution for last mile delivery. This model would repurpose spaces into accessible fulfilment hubs to reduce distance travelled by parcels and couriers and encourage accessible PUDO locations that empower consumers to pick up and send their deliveries when and where it suits them. Local fulfilment centres would significantly decrease emissions with research showing that going to the store to do your shopping would produce more emissions than this model.

This theme came up again in the final panel of the day,  The Pain is Worth the Gain When it Comes to Returns featuring speakers from Hubbed, BlackMilk, Retail Apparel Group, and Afterpay. This discussion centered on returns and how to make it a more seamless process. Microfulfilment was again suggested as a key strategy, focusing on the key consumer requirements of choice, convenience, and control.

Collaboration

The panel discussion featuring speakers from Shippit, Fluentcommerce, R.M. Williams and Airwallex, Future-Proof Your Tech Stack to Convert More Customers at Checkout was overall about removing wasted effort from your tech stack and optimising it for evolution, but what emerged from the talk as a key theme was the importance of treating vendors as partners.

The speakers discussed the relationship when collaborating with vendors and how it was important to both hold eachother accountable and lift eachother up with a shared vision.

They discussed not only this partnership in building a tech stack, but in every level. The responsibility to uplift eachother when you #SCALE your business is key for long term growth.

As with the above takeaway, leaning into partners was also a key takeaway from The Pain is Worth the Gain When it Comes to Returns panel, as well as the Promises Made, Promises Kept? Bake Trust into Your Last-Mile Delivery Experience panel featuring speakers from Koala, Winning Group, Australia Post, and Sherpa. In order to make delivery and returns a frictionless process, it is necessary for retailers to collaborate and lean into their delivery, logistics, and fulfilment partners to develop and communicate clear expectations, hold eachother accountable, and deliver a seamless experience for customer and all collaborators alike.

Acquisition and retention go hand in hand

Similar to the collaboration theme of leaning into eachother, a key takeaway from a debate in which two CEOs went head to head arguing Retention vs Acquisition is that one cannot exist without the other. The pair, Anaita Sarkar of Hero Packaging and Priscilla Hajiantoni of Bangn Body argued their respective causes, eventually concluding that balance is needed in strategizing retention and aqcquisition not just as a business starts out but scaling right through its growth. Keeping customers top of mind is key.

Keeping customers top of mind spans across all levels and all of the themes explored throughout the event. Providing customers with simple and speedy solutions is key to keep in mind while you #SCALE your business.

About the Author: Rosalea Catterson

Rosalea is the Editor of Power Retail. With a keen interest in consumer behaviour and tech, she covers everything ecommerce and hosts the Power Retail Power Talks Podcast.

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