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Editorial: Why it’s better to be honest about problems around delivery


Homebase hit the headlines this week after suspending its home delivery service temporarily. The company is in the midst of a systems and platform revamp and is also changing how it delivers its product ranges so has halted the service whilst it does so.
The company is not the only retailer to be caught out by a systems upgrade. Yours truly got a little frustrated with one sports retailer earlier this month for its problems it was facing around stock checking and being able to fulfil orders thanks to a platform upgrade. Unfortunately unlike Homebase this company wasn’t quite so honest about the problems it was facing at point of purchase.

Getting this balance is right and in our opinion piece this week, Bobby Shome of Centiro, reveals three home truths around home delivery. Time and time again retailers are told that customers prefer honesty. They are understanding when they know what is going on. What damaged my loyalty a little with my retailer – with whom I do shop FAR too much – was the not knowing, especially since the item I ordered was a birthday present for a friend.

So please retailers listen to the research and if that means being brave like Homebase and suspending a service for a while then at least you are not making any false promises to your customers.

Yet another retailer to be impacted by an ecommerce platforming is House of Fraser. The company released its latest half-year results this week which included news of how the replatforming had impacted sales. The company also included an update to its distribution centre upgrade and said it is expected to deliver £5 million in efficiency savings in the second half of this year rising to a run rate benefit of £15 million by the time the project completes in mid-2018.

From eBay comes more positive news after the company announced an expansion of its click and collect service with Doddle. That itself follows recent news that Doddle was expanding its presence in Cancer Research UK stores in the runup to Christmas.

Talking of Christmas UPS has become one of the first companies to announce its Christmas peak plans already. The company is taking on 95,000 additional staff – around a third of which it says it will likely then on permanently.

It’s pretty scary to think how fast peak and Christmas is approaching. Coming up even sooner than that however is the eDelivery conference which takes place a week on Thursday. Ahead of the event we have an interview with Bill Hopkins from Trainline. If you haven’t registered for your place already don’t leave it too late!

Image credit: Fotolia

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