IRUK 500 Operations and Logistics Report 2015

IT’S A TRICKY balance, but one that leading retailers are achieving. It’s between giving customers the fulfilment choices they want and demand, while ensuring that service is delivered at a profit. Customers are learning fast, from the traders at the forefront of retail logistics, just how accurate and effective delivery, collection and returns can be. That’s not to say that every parcel arrives on time, or every collection is the experience it might be. But services have improved enormously in recent years and today we’re at the beginning of a process that’s opening up new possibilities and aspirations. It’s territory that’s well-mapped in this, our third IRUK 500 Performance Dimension Report, on Operations and Logistics.

When, on Black Friday 2014, delivery services were overwhelmed, consumers let the industry know exactly what they thought. It was a reminder that it’s crucial to keep the delivery promise. That’s a message echoed in our lead interview by Sean McKee, head of ecommerce and customer services at footwear retailer Schuh [IRDX RSCH], which tops this Dimension. In the interview, McKee explains in detail what makes Schuh’s service work, and gives useful insights into how the underlying strategy has developed.

Black Friday is also one of the themes in our strategic overview of the sector, written for us in this report by Sean Fleming, editor of InternetRetailing’s sibling title, eDelivery.net. It goes further to investigate the other challenges facing the sector, and how retailers and logistics providers are already dealing with these. We consider practical steps that some of the UK’s leading retailers are taking to offer top-flight services through case studies on House of Fraser [IRDX RHOF], John Lewis [IRDX RJLW], Superdry [IRDX RSGR] and Amazon [IRDX RAMZ], and through our feature on 12 techniques retailers are using.

We interrogate our numbers through two research-led features. Analysing the numbers assesses the current state of the industry in this Dimension; while the breaking new ground feature measures the gap between customer expectations and the service customers actually receive.

Finally, we take a long hard look at the challenges of cross-channel returns in our emerging practice feature. As Dr Jonathan Gorst of Sheffield Hallam University explains, so-called ‘reverse logistics’ is a subject that’s coming more and more into focus for retailers trying to reduce waste and maximise profits.

We’d like to thank all our Knowledge Partners in this Dimension Report. In the months ahead, we’ll be turning to the remaining three performance dimensions explored in IRUK 500, 2015. If you are interested in future publications or have queries regarding existing reports. Please email: subscriptions@internetretailing.net

Jonathan Wright and Chloe Rigby
Editors

Mentioned in this piece…

Schuh

Schuh

IRDX: RSCH

Schuh is a Scottish high street and internet branded footwear retailer, operating throughout the British Isles. (more…)

House of Fraser

House of Fraser

IRDX: RHOF

House of Fraser is a UK-based multichannel department store and the third largest department store chain in the UK.
(more…)

John Lewis

John Lewis

IRDX: RJLW

John Lewis is a UK-based multichannel department store. (more…)

Superdry

Superdry

IRDX: RSGR

Superdry is a UK fashion retailer offering branded clothing and accessories. It operates a multichannel business through a combination of Cult and Superdry standalone stores, Superdry concessions, ecommerce and its UK and international wholesale operations. (more…)

Amazon

Amazon

IRDX: RAMZ

Amazon is a market-leading eTailer with global reach and a broad array of product types. (more…)