When the 360 review feels more like Mean Girls

We're pulling back the curtain on how well the departments inside ecommerce companies work together.

Image caption: “surrealist image image of several sets of hands pulling on a rope in a game of tug of war” as prompted by Pitney Bowes. Artwork by DALL-E / Courtesy OpenAI, edited by Pitney Bowes.


This month on BOXpoll, we’re pulling back the curtain on how well the departments inside ecommerce companies work together. (If you needed a sign to fill out your overdue Q3 performance review, this is it.)


In our hot-off-the-press Q3 survey of retailer decision-makers, we asked respondents to rate the collaboration their team has with other departments.

Key takeaways:

  • Customer care is the department most likely to earn the label “collaboration needs improvement”—a concerning finding, given that customer care sits at the intersection of logistics and marketing. Customer care holds the keys to valuable feedback about what isn’t working on the logistics side (late deliveries, damaged goods, incorrect orders—the horrors!), as well as metrics that are deeply important to marketing, like customer satisfaction and lifetime value.
  • Tied for second place in the “collaboration needs improvement” club are Operations/Logistics and Marketing. To put it simply… ecommerce logistics is a dense field, making it easy for other departments to get intimidated. Meanwhile, marketing moves quickly to stay ahead of consumer sentiments, often leaving behind other stakeholders. What’s more, marketing decisions often have ripple effects of their decisions on other departments’ processes and systems. For example, if a marketing team changes the free shipping threshold without consulting the logistics team, the move could result in much smaller orders than warehouse teams were staffed to support, hurting efficiency. 
  • In third and fourth place are Finance/Procurement and IT. These departments are in the business of mitigating risk and closer tied to answer “no” than any other department (except maybe legal, which we didn’t ask about). We weren’t at all surprised to see procurement and IT on the higher end of needing better collaboration. What did surprise (and concern) us is that marketing and operations ranked even higher on the list. 
retailer department collaboration

BOXpoll™ by Pitney Bowes, a weekly survey on current events, culture, and ecommerce logistics. Conducted by Pitney Bowes with Morning Consult // 200 US retailers surveyed September 2022. © Copyright Pitney Bowes Inc.

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