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Editorial: An exploding market where innovation thrives


News this week suggests that the courier and express delivery market is growing fast – hitting £10.1 billion or 2.8 billion parcels, according to a new report from Mintel. And it’s growth that shows no sign of stopping with a £13.2 billion value and 4 billion packages expected to be sent in the UK by 2021.
This is of course fuelled mostly by ecommerce growth as customers want things faster and more at their convenience. It’s an obvious statement but online retail will continue to lure customers away from stores given how quickly and easily customers can now get their goods. Even I’m starting to be converted and I was previously a die-hard physical store shopper.

Talking of fast and convenient Amazon has announced the date for its latest Prime Day. The promotional event, which will see 30 hours of special deals, and has been extended to cover 13 countries this year and takes place on July 11.

On a smaller scale another report this week suggests the key role of delivery options for smaller players too. It suggests that better delivery options will be one of the main reasons that SMEs believe business will pick up by next spring as smarter delivery technology allows them to compete with their bigger rivals more effectively. In the Amazon Prime Day the company has already confirmed that 40% of its lightning deals with be from small businesses and entreprenuers on its platform.

There is also news this week of another autonomous vehicle delivery pilot – something we are increasingly featuring in the news pages of thanks to all the trials currently underway. This time it’s Ocado in conjunction with CargoPod and taking place in Greenwich.

At the other end of the delivery spectrum CollectPlus is running a new service with Gett Delivery, offering a pick-up returns service, initially in zones one and two in London. As someone who hates the act of physically dropping off a returns parcel at the post office, store or collect point I know it’s a service I’d look to use – if only I wasn’t based in Bristol rather than London!

In our opinion slot this week from Tom Downes of Quail Digital we hear how the adoption of the fast food drive thru model could help provide a better experience for customers waiting on click and collect orders. “Milkshake and fries with that sir?” Certainly there are lessons that the retail industry could learn from this sector when it comes to speed and efficiency of delivery.

And finally we have the news that homewares retailer The Range has opened a new state of the art distribution centre in Avonmouth, Bristol to handle its planned UK and international expansion.

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