EDITORIAL Delivery: the road to successful domestic and overseas growth

Delivery is going to be key to differentiation

Delivery is going to be key to differentiation

With the holiday season nearly upon us, one thing is clear: looking overseas for growth is now an imperative for Growth 2000 retailers as much as it is for anyone else. And part of that growth curve has to come from looking at what you can do with delivery.

Delivery is becoming a key differentiator – at home and abroad – with consumers increasingly looking for not only flexible and immediate delivery options, but also for delivery to be green and sustainable.

Consumer research by IMRG and Global Freight Solutions (GFS) finds that 45% of consumers are still more likely to abandon their purchase due to a lack of convenient delivery options, not a lack of free options.

The study also shows that environmental concerns are also starting to play on shoppers’ minds, but price is limiting their willingness to change. More than half (55%) of consumers surveyed viewed online shopping as less environmentally friendly than the high street (the first time this has occurred), but when asked if they’d pay extra to do their part, 73% said no.

This is being borne out by some leading retailers, including top of the Growth 2000 list, Amara and other SME, mattress start up Simba. Both these players have seen how delivery is going to be a key part of what they can offer over and above the better-known players that they compete with.

Both these retails realise that offering the right kind of delivery experience is now as important as the web experience, the in-store experience and all other customer touchpoint experiences – and have teamed up with specialists to make it happen.

Amara, for instance, has teamed up with Clipper Logistics to create bespoke, high-end fulfilment for the luxury homewares and accessories e-tailer. The idea is to add a sense of luxury to the delivery process for the luxury retailer, while giving the customer much more control over their delivery.

Simba, meanwhile, has recruited the services of AO Logistics, the logistics arm of white and electrical goods retailer AO.com. Simba customers will be able to take advantage of AO logistics’ two-person delivery service, weekend delivery options and timed delivery service windows, already in place for AO.com.

These attributes, which have proven so successful with electricals and white goods, puts AO logistics in “the perfect position to safely and comfortably offer mattress delivery that meets customers’ expectations”, says the company.

The environmental impact of delivery is also playing on shopper’s minds and, as David Griffiths, Senior Product Marketing & Strategy Manager, Adjuno points out, independent retailers are already way ahead of the game here.

With more etailers looking for growth both at home and overseas, these issues are going to impact increasingly on operations. With a tough Christmas ahead – thanks to continuing Brexit uncertainty and now an election slap bang in the run up to Peak – it is time to look at all options on the table for growth – and getting delivery right and making it something that works for consumers on a practical and philosophical level is going to be crucial.

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