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Tech innovation is behind transformed CX in retail

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 01 Jun 2023
Photograph by: Morné Barnardt Photography
Photograph by: Morné Barnardt Photography

Software innovation is enhancing both logistic processes in retail and the customer experience, according to Cape Town-based click & collect specialist Pargo.

Retailers are using technology to meet customer demand for an online shopping experience that mirrors in-store encounters. 

Pargo CEO and co-founder Lars Veul explains that this technology is streamlining processes for delivering parcels from businesses to customers and managing returns from customers to businesses. This process, known as “reverse logistics,” uses a tracking system to manage returns.

“The upside for retailers is that returned products can be placed back in the supply chain quickly and effectively, which brings down storage and distribution costs. It carries other advantages, too. For example, returns tracking is automated and cloud-based technology will mean that it can be accessed and shared easily.”

Pargo highlights the implementation of self-service returns kiosks, an innovation from the United States. This in-store technology allows returns to be completed in under two minutes and reduces costs associated with manual processing and eliminated the need to coordinate with couriers. This, according to Pargo, closes the loop on each return case within hours instead of days or weeks. Additionally, real-time data insights on return orders allow for monitoring of volume and spend.

Veul says last-mile logistics is an ever-evolving industry with many providers in a 'literal race' to offer the most convenient and reliable delivery methods.

With our country faces rising challenges in sending and receiving parcels due to the failing South African Post Office system and increasing inflatio, companies like Pargo are using market research and data insights to develop products that address these problems. Veul and his team study 'lookalike' markets abroad to see how their returns innovations could be customised to solve South Africa’s unique challenges, such as last-mile logistics in rural and township areas.