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Smart consumers get personal

  • Consumers are increasingly shopping online, when they want, using a variety of devices – and requesting choice in delivery services
  • Consumers will pay more for services such as faster delivery, and want to track goods all the way
  • The personal supply chain model has created new opportunities – but many businesses are yet to adapt
  • Retail and other business-to-consumer industries need to invest in the right combination of technologies

Smartphones are making consumers masters of their own supply chains.

Gone are the days when consumers simply bought what was advertised or offered: the internet has made it possible for everyone to specify exactly what they want, and how they want it delivered.

Australian consumers are connected, empowered and keen to be part of a “personal supply chain”process – presenting big opportunities for business, particularly the retail industry.

Consumers are turning mobile to ensure they get what they want, delivered in exactly the right way: 87 percent of Australians shopped online in 2014, compared with 66 percent in 2012, a 31 percent jump.

Smart Consumers Get Personal

A new Telstra report has found many would pay a premium for services such as same-day delivery or the ability to customise a product online, although only few retailers offer this level of convenience and personalisation.

“Until now, supply-chain management has just been about business-to-business collaboration,”says Gareth Jude, Telstra retail industry executive and the report’s author. “This research says that because consumers are connected to the supply chain through their smart devices, they can become equal contributors, collaborators and co-creators of value, just like retailers, transport companies and manufacturers.”


Because consumers are connected to the supply chain through their smart devices, they can become equal contributors, collaborators and co-creators of value – just like retailers, transport companies and manufacturers.

Co-author, Charlie Macdonald, Telstra’s manufacturing, transport and logistics industry executive, says Australia transport and logistics sector need to understand how they can build collaborative relationships with their customers consumer. One example is Shoes of Prey, which enables customers to design their own shoes online. It then manufactures them and delivers them anywhere in the world within four weeks.

However, the report says many businesses are not providing the services that today’s consumers want. These include a choice of delivery options, being able to see stock levels online and receiving information when goods are about to arrive.

Retailers, manufacturers and transport companies seeking to lift their game need to choose the right technology combinations for their business, Jude says.

An example Jude offers is the Pizza Mogul app, recently launched by Domino’s. The app allows customers to design their own pizza then share their recipe through social media with friends and family. Participating customers can make from 25 cents up to $3.25 for each of their designer pizzas that sells through their social network.

“First, you need a platform to talk to the consumer,”says Jude. “Second, you need to make that conversation meaningful. You also need to build trust, which is where social media comes in. Then you need to get the consumer to opt in to collaborate with you.”

Nearly all business-to-consumer industries need to be aware of the impact that personal supply chains will have on consumers’ expectations when it comes to quality and service.

“It’s about personalisation, it’s about choice, it’s about service,”says Macdonald.

Craig Mostyn Group (CMG) is one of Australia's leading diversified food and agribusiness companies.

To meet the demands of their rapidly growing global fresh food business CMG, working in collaboration with Telstra implemented Telstra cloud services across its sites with managed services provided by a key Telstra partner. Learn more.

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