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Editorial: Counting down till Christmas


It is now but a few days until Christmas – which means that retailers and their delivery partners will face their final test in this year’s peak delivery period.
As we saw last week many retailers have pushed their delivery cut-off periods later than ever this year with some even pledging delivery on Christmas Eve.

Others have taken the pressure off both themselves and their carrier partners by having more conservative cut-off dates.

This of course does train customers too. After all, if they have seen earlier cut-off dates for their chosen retailers then it will have either forced them to get themselves organised a little earlier or pushed them into the arms of another retailer. It’s the festive gamble retailers have to take.

This time of year really is the time to shine – not to tarnish your reputation with a poor service. In this week’s opinion piece, delivering the best customer experience in the festive frenzy, from Engage Hub that is the key message.

One retailer will be hoping to do just that is Argos. The company had been threatened with a driver strike last week but this was called off at the last minute.

A good customer experience isn’t just about delivering on time however, but also about how the goods are received. There were already stories in the press last week about customers receiving goods that clearly gave away what was inside and then it happens to yours truly with one of my daughter’s main Christmas presents arriving in all its illustrative glory with no additional packaging to disguise what it was at all. Christmas is only saved as she was out at the time.

Of course, the above is likely to have been a result of the race for efficiency – as retailers try to get goods out as quickly as possible. But perhaps we should look at improving efficiencies at source. Driving cost out of the first mile is as essential as driving it out of the last, to help further improve and cut costs.

Whilst we are talking about efficiencies perhaps it’s worth looking at how to improve one of the biggest distribution centres in the world too and the subject of another opinion piece this week – Santa’s North Pole DC.

This week also saw two new innovations. Click and collect service CollectPlus is to be opened up to other carriers after a new agreement was signed between PayPoint and Yodel and Amazon revealed that it’s first commercial delivery by drone took place earlier this month in the UK.

Win an iPhone 7

Innovation will continue to be the name of the game for retailers that want to deliver on customer expectations but is it something you are delivering on? Don’t forget that is currently working with NetDespatch on a new whitepaper that looks at how retailers are delivering what consumers want when it comes to delivery and we want your views.

If you are a retailer this is one of your last chances to take our delivery expectations survey and share your views anonymously (and be in with the added bonus of the chance to win an iPhone 7), or email me on to share your views more broadly. I look forward to hearing how you impress your customers or where the challenges lay – or even just more about what you would like to do if you could?

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Thanks for reading and have a great Christmas!!

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