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Editorial: Don’t underestimate the seemingly little things


Firstly, a huge thank you to everyone who attended the eDelivery Conference yesterday. We hope that all the keynote speakers, sessions, roundtables and general networking proved useful as you look how to improve edelivery within your business in the coming months. We will have a review of the conference, and some of the key sessions and videos available on the site soon.
Meanwhile, as you are reading this today the InternetRetailing Conference is taking place, bringing you even more expert advice and networking opportunities – don’t say we don’t spoil you!

Peak recruitment begins

Can you believe how close Black Friday, and even Christmas, are already? They are but a matter of weeks away. Of course, we know that you will have been busy planning for such peaks for months but there’s always more that can be done.

For smaller retailers managing warehouses can be tough – but a new cloud-based warehouse and stock management system called ProSKU, aims to help smaller retailers get better organised when it comes to stock control and we find out more about that this week too.

But whilst retailers ensure that they do all they can to maximise efficiencies over peak period it’s important that delivery firms also ensure they have the capacity to cope – especially with customers increasingly wanting goods faster than ever. We’ve seen peak recruitment announcements from carriers such as UPS and Royal Mail and Parcelforce in the last few days as they ramp up staffing to deal with the increased parcel volumes that they will face over the peak period.

Royal Mail Group subsidiary General Logistics Systems (GLS) has also been busy in the last week, acquiring regional next day parcel delivery company Golden State Overnight Delivery Service (GSO) to strengthen the company’s reach yet further.

Underestimating the obvious

We looked last week at customer expectations around delivery and how customers want goods fast but don’t necessarily want to pay for it. Retailers are responding to this but at what cost? In an opinion piece this week we look at why the onus is now on retailers to gain a true understanding of the cost to serve if the new delivery options that customers are demanding are to continue to be viable options in the longer term.

Another area in which retailers can sometimes underestimate costs is in returns. For retailers that have customers who return more than they buy this can be a huge headache and it must be pretty soul destroying sometimes to have to deal with. I know as a new online shopper with I felt pretty guilty about the amount of stuff I’ve ordered and then returned to them over the last few weeks as I sought the ideal autumn cycling kit. But do you know what? Their efficient, fast, hassle free returns service means I will keep going back for more.

In another of our guest opinion pieces this week this idea is explored in more depth – ie that you should embrace such shoppers — dubbed the frequent fashion returners — because long term they have value, even if in the short term it looks like they are just being extra fussy about colour, style and fit (sorry again Wiggle!)

And finally

It was nice to recognise the work in our newsletter this week of FedEx who got involved in Action for Children’s Byte Night sponsored sleepout event last week. Using its delivery network the company distributed goods needed for the event as well as having staff join in too. Given peak is now hitting it is nice to see a company taking time out to support such a great event.

If you haven’t subscribed to eDelivery yet, why not 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. And if you’re not receiving a copy of the magazine find details here on that too.

Have a great week everyone!

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