News hit the headlines this week that lost parcels and failed deliveries amounted to £250m worth of shopping in the last year, according to a survey. Negative stories like this don’t show hard-working multichannel retailers and their couriers in a very favourable light. But on the upside they do give us a reason to forge ahead even more determinedly towards better fulfilment and improved first-time delivery rates.
We really are getting there, as commentators in our version of the story make clear. As an industry we are open to innovation, and most ecommerce players are slogging away to get this right. There’s a willingness to embrace the latest technologies and strategies that will lead to fulfilment success. Just look at the speaker line up and subjects planned for the eDelivery Conference 2016 which takes place on October 11th. In the conference stream that focuses on Availability we have representatives from Amazon, Tesco, M&S and the Post Office sharing their knowledge and experience. These leading lights will explain how back office systems and new ways of working are giving customers more options – Click & Collect, more convenient delivery slots, tracking and communication, efficient returns services and high levels of cross-channel product availability. Find out more here. Over time, these and more initiatives feeding through will surely drive down the number of missed deliveries consumers suffer.
Our stories this week certainly paint a picture of retailers bolstering up their delivery offerings. Vintage fashion retailer Lindy Bop has teamed with Torque for end-to-end fulfilment, conscious that to keep growing and delighting customers, delivery and returns must be executed with care and precision. The Fragrance Shop is working with Shutl to give customers (who often buy perfume for loved ones at the very last minute) a super-fast same day delivery option. And rarely out of the limelight when it comes to pushing the boundaries for the sake of growth and customer care, Amazon has announced a new fulfilment centre for Doncaster, to begin operating in 2017.
There has been a lot of hype in recent months about the ‘sharing economy’ or ‘gig economy’ with more ventures popping up every day building on the revolution kicked off by the likes of global brands Airbnb and Uber. The next addition to our growing sharing economy is expected to be peer to peer delivery, utilising the empty space that we have going up and down the motorways, every day, in ordinary cars. Andrew Hill of Electio questions whether the industry should be bucking up its ideas and making the necessary preparations to integrate this type of service into the system, or if it is nothing more than a fad. Read his guest article here.
So no-one can accuse this sector of being short of ideas on how to get to grips with the practicalities of ecommerce fulfilment. What’s clear is that the pressure to get it right is building, with consumers and the media very much on our case. Here at eDelivery.net we’re on a mission to share news of successes (and failings), explore the capabilities of the latest technology, and question industry experts who might have answers to specific delivery and fulfilment challenges.
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- Lindy Bop for media use only