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Editorial: The end is nigh: for me at least


This is my final editorial column. I’m moving on. But eDelivery is still here and is set to go from strength to strength.
Some of you reading this will already know that I am stepping down as editor of eDelivery; this is my final editorial column, and next month a new hand will be on the tiller, as Alison Clements takes on the role of editor.

Alison is a very experienced journalist who has written about the retail sector at length. Despite a tinge of sadness about stepping down, I’m also genuinely excited about her taking over and where eDelivery will go next.

It’s been almost two years since the initial conversations took place about me coming on board as launch editor for eDelivery. I started out in journalism in the 1990s and since then the publishing world has seen far more closures than launches. So to be involved in a new launch was an exciting prospect. But this is an exciting sector of the market.

Ecommerce, although not new, is more important to the retail sector than ever before. Ten years ago, few would have predicted it would grow as much as it has; expectations back then were that online sales would contribute about 10% of the overall. At most. Fat chance. Shoppers fell in love with, and have since become wedded to, ecommerce.

The big change taking place now is the role of fulfilment. The Cinderella of the ecommerce story for so long, the business of getting the product into the hands of the customer is now the belle of the ball. This is where loyalty – a dead duck of an idea in traditional retail – is once again being forged. It’s also where customer relationships can get trashed in a heartbeat – go ahead and leave my expensive purchases in my bin, but don’t expect it will make me want to shop with you again … and that’s right, customers don’t care if the retailer and courier are not one and the same.

The world of warehouses, forklifts, and brown overalls, that back-room, blokey, almost forgotten world has been changed forever and thrust into the strategic limelight. This changing market sector landscape demanded a new voice. I think eDelivery has been that voice, and I’ve been proud, and privileged to play my part.

If you’ve been part of the journey so far, thank you. Every email, every comment, every contribution has been welcome. If you joined the LinkedIn Group, thank you. If you’ve tweeted us, thank you. I hope you will continue to be even more engaged as eDelivery goes into a new and exciting chapter.

One new and exciting development on the horizon would appear to be same-day grocery delivery becoming the norm. AmazonFresh launched in June and, as predicted here on eDelivery, UK supermarkets are taking the fight to Amazon. Two have already launched same-day trials.

Amazon’s drone aspirations are back on the agenda this week, or so it would seem. Lots of excitement about Amazon’s latest set of tests and trials, in conjunction with the CAA. I’m still firmly of the opinion that drones are a niche solution and little more.

Elsewhere in eDelivery, we have a story about research that indicates customers like the idea of omnichannel retail but aren’t quite ready to share their data to bring about a joined-up shopping experience. We also have advice on winning the customer experience war on the last mile, which is – as I’ve already mentioned above – more important now than ever before.

And now, for the last time, I’ll implore you to get in touch and share your opinions, or if you have an idea to share. And if you haven’t subscribed to eDelivery yet what on earth have you been waiting for? 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. If you’re not receiving a copy of the magazine you’ll find details on that too.

You can also join our LinkedIn group for analysis and networking as it happens, or if you want your updates in real-time find us on Twitter @edeliverynet.

Thank you for reading!

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