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Editorial: Is using your own staff to deliver really the answer?


Retailers have long been worried about the final mile experience of someone else being in charge of their last interaction with their customers when it comes to ecommerce.
Does a delivery driver really understand the importance of customer experience in the same way that a store employee does? The news this week that Walmart is using its own staff to deliver goods to their customers’ homes is therefore a simple but still impressive initiative.

The retailer is asking its own staff to deliver packages to customers on their way home from work. Staff get to earn extra cash, deliveries are more likely to be made at hours convenient for shoppers and those delivering the packages have the essence of good customer service and values drummed into them daily instore. Could it work for other companies over here too? It will be interesting to see if any other retailers follow their lead.

Over in the UK Tesco is also trialling new methods of delivery after the retailer was revealed as the latest retailer to partner with Starship Technologies to deliver items to its customers. The technology company is doing a great job in finding new partners (and then shouting about it) so could it really become commonplace that we will find ourselves strolling along the streets with delivery robots passing us to get goods to customers?

In the grocery delivery sector it’s been revealed that Amazon is expanding its AmazonFresh service, now rolling out to selected postcodes in the Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire areas – it follows on a year after the service’s initial launch.

As I’m originally from one of the towns covered by the new service I’m tempted to return to my roots to try it out! That said perhaps I shouldn’t for the sake of my wallet. In a personal opinion piece this week I reveal how Amazon Prime is changing my buying habits. When you can get goods in your hands the next day (or even same day) without feeling like you are paying for it then suddenly the power of efficient delivery becomes an even more important tool is swaying customers not to purchase instore but online instead. And this from a die-hard ‘I must go to the shops and look around’ purchaser.

As you read this there is but one day until the General Election but what will the vote mean for delivery and logistics companies? We have two opinion pieces looking at that very topic this week.

In the first ParcelHero’s David Jinks looks at the different policies the various parties are proposing – and their likely impact on the sector – whilst in our second piece Go Supply Chain’s Craig Ryder goes behind the scenes to look at the logistics that make it all happen. We’ll see tomorrow what the actual result is. Please do comment on what you think the implications of the result might be for your sector.

We’ll see tomorrow what the actual result is. Please do comment on what you think the implications of the result might be for your sector.

Let us know your views!

Image credit: Fotolia

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