As 2019 begins, there is no time to relax for retailers as customers return their unwanted Christmas gifts. The story is a neat reminder that the demanding online shopper is not just for Christmas but all year round.
Unfortunately, there are signs that even during peak season the industry is showing some signs of going backwards. Research by Accenture found that delivery times had actually risen during the 2018 peak period, showing that the industry still needs to make sure it is getting the basics right.
Looking to the future, however, December also saw Vodafone conducting the UK’s first drone delivery over 4G. If it works, the technology could provide shipping to remote areas of the UK covered by the mobile network, but the recent disruption at Gatwick shows there are major questions to be answered.
The end of the year saw some major financial results from the sector, including from FedEx. The company’s CEO Fred Smith claimed that he didn’t see Amazon as a major competitor, but Amazon chose the same week to announce it was expanding its air fleet to 50. We also have a seasonal op-ed from parcelLab and a guide to shipping from store by MetaPack.
Whatever the new year brings for ecommerce generally, logistics will be at the centre of delivering on customer demand.
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