On October 29th, we held the biggest live event in Cleveron’s history. We had product demos, Q&As, a few surprises, and a panel discussion. The panel speakers were Dr. Ramesh Ratan, retired CEO & Vice-Chairman of Bell & Howell, and Indrek Oolup, Cleveron’s Co-Founder. In case you missed the virtual event, here’s a summary of their discussion.
Indrek and Ramesh first discussed the profitability of home deliveries, which is currently booming. Ramesh started by saying that home deliveries are very challenging. For instance, the current home delivery solutions require the consumer to stay at home during the day, which may be difficult for a working person. Because of this, a staggering 20% of home deliveries are wasted or get returned to the store. Indrek, however, questioned whether the current format could keep up with the growing needs of the market, which is at an all-time high. They both agreed that big trucks driving around in suburban areas is not sustainable and that the current methods of home delivery need to improve.
The discussion continued on the topic of whether the new solutions that retailers are using are sustainable in the long run. In Indrek’s opinion, the pandemic has given a boost to consumers’ purchase habits. He believes that the most sustainable solution is robotics because they can keep up with high demand. On the other hand, Ramesh emphasized the importance of omnichannel. Speed and customer convenience are still one of the most critical aspects of e-commerce, which means that moving towards an omnichannel solution should be at the forefront of retailers’ priorities.
They continued their conversation with the future of BOPIS. Ramesh pointed out again that in the future, the focus is going to be on omnichannel: in the store, outside the store, in your neighborhood, and on your doorstep. Ramesh believes that the future of BOPIS lies within technology to make the customer experience more convenient, speedy, and because of the pandemic, safer. BOPIS is going to evolve by itself, but the pandemic is going to bring many opportunities for retailers to make the whole experience even more seamless.
In regards to the previous topic, they touched on the subject of the holiday parcel chaos and how retailers are going to cope with it. With Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas approaching, e-commerce orders are going to skyrocket. Indrek strongly believes that robotics is the only solution that can handle the holiday parcel season. Ramesh, however, said that it is essential to understand the consumers very deeply. Retailers need to know how to use big data, AI, and analytics to build good relationships with their customers to be able to serve them in this upcoming peak period.
If you want to rewatch the full show or product demo clips, click here (the panel discussion starts at 18:16). We have also answered the questions asked by viewers during the panel that we didn’t manage to discuss during the live event.