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Editorial: Why there’s a hefty price to pay for getting it wrong


An ongoing theme of in recent weeks has been the need to keep customers happy and meet (and ideally exceed) their expectations when it comes to delivery. Indeed, it’s also the subject of a soon-to-be published whitepaper that we are writing here at eDelivery.
But it’s not easy. Delivery and fulfilment is such a complex market and with so many elements in the delivery process it’s vital to keep the customer happy at every point – including when something goes wrong. New research from Voxware this week shows just how strong that need is. The research shows in particular the impact of customers either receiving the wrong items or receiving an item later than expected.

It said customers want a quick rectification of mistakes and, in more than a third of cases also wanted to be compensated for mistakes – either by discount, coupon or credit. When margins are tight enough around delivery already it shows just how essential getting it right first time is.

Whilst a smooth delivery process is top of mind for customers so too is returns – another hot topic in recent weeks on this newsletter given this month sees one of the highest rates of returns in the whole calendar year. In our guest opinion piece this week Rick Kirk, sales director at B2C Europe, says that given consumers are thinking about returns during every stage of their shopping journey then retailers should be doing the same – better understanding consumers’ needs and delivering solutions better suited to them as a result. Simple elements such as customer endorsements, product visuals and sizing guidelines can help massively to reduce the rate of returns and once again means happier customers as a result.

Employed or self-employed?

Many delivery firms will be looking again at how they are staffing after an employment tribunal ruling this week against delivery firm CitySprint in which the judge ruled that one of its bike couriers was effectively employed rather than self-employed. The ruling could have big implications for the market and it will be interesting to see what future reaction will be. The delivery specialist has called on the government for better support and clarification for businesses like itself.

In other news

In other news this week we’ve seen one of the first consolidations of the year after DPD Group took full control of delivery specialist wnDirect, a company with which it has been working closely and had a stake in already for some time. Existing management will continue to work in the newly structured group.

Delivery partners and 3PLs are having to do more than ever for their retail partners, as we share in another comment piece this week. The role of the 3PL has moved beyond simply picking, packing and despatching to include a range of value-added services.

In a new contract win Costco Wholesale has handed responsibility for managing its reverse logistics operations for its 28 UK warehouses to XPO Logistics who will manage store waste for the retailer.

And finally, FedEx Express has this week revealed that its staff donated 1,000 hours of their time and raised more than £6,000 for charity Action for Children last year. Well done guys!

Thanks for reading and see you next week. And remember if you haven’t signed up to our newsletter already do so now! You’ll get a weekly newsletter summarising the main stories we’ve covered, and we’ll keep you informed of other big announcements. You’ll find details on subscribing here.

Image credit: Fotolia

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