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Who killed click-and-collect, what’s choking London, and the long Black FiveDay


I’ve been talking to people far and wide about whether in-store click-and-collect services might have run out of steam and what that might mean.
For retailers and the rest of the industry alike, click-and-collect has been a runaway success. But last Christmas saw a rash of stories about shoppers having poor in-store collection experiences. Too popular for its own good? Perhaps. Or maybe it’s just a service that needs to come out of the shadows and be treated to a little investment TLC from retailers; while many promote the offer, how many follow through and ensure the service shoppers receive leaves a lasting positive impression?

Today (18 May) I’ve published the first of this series, in which I summarise my take on things, refer to some conversations had at EDX16, and touch upon the problem of trying to use 2D metrics in a 3D world.

I’ve got lots of interview notes to draw from, but I’m still keen to hear from as many eDelivery readers as possible. So, if this is a topic you have an opinion on, please get in touch via the usual channels. I’ll also be putting something up on the eDelivery LinkedIn Group, so look out for it there. And if you haven’t joined the Group, please do – we’d love to see you there.

Elsewhere on eDelivery, will Black Friday become the week-long event it was starting to turn into last year? Ecommerce consultancy Salmon certainly think so, and have termed it Black FiveDay and predict there’ll be £5bn spent in the four days leading up to the day itself. Retailers will have their preparations well under way, but how will this phenomenon affect carriers if it takes hold – will it flatten the dreaded peak or keep demand at a febrile level for longer?

The sustained increase in demand for online shopping is one of the reasons given for continuing congestion on the road’s of the UK’s capital. A study from a transport data firm has found there’s been an 8% increase in the number of vans in central London, many of them involved in ecommerce delivery. This isn’t a problem that’s going to go away any time soon, though and finding a problem is going to require some joined-up multi-agency action not just in London, but the whole of the UK.

The topic of returns is never far from my mind, and is something I’ll be writing about in the next print edition of eDelivery Magazine. Royal Mail have also been giving the subject some headspace and carried out some research that found the average UK shopper waits three days before sending something back, whether that’s because of poor fit or a lack of clear online product detail.

And finally, for now at least, I need your help. We are conducting some research into the future of fulfillment and in return for you spending just a few minutes on this online survey, we’ll enter you into a competition to win an Apple Watch. The opinions of eDelivery readers will be an important part of the white paper I’ll be writing later this summer, so please let me know your thoughts.

In the meantime, if you haven’t subscribed to eDelivery yet we’d love it if you did. You’ll get a weekly newsletter summarising the main stories we’ve covered, and we’ll keep you informed of other big announcements. But we won’t spam you – you don’t like spam, do you? We don’t. You’ll find details on subscribing here. And 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.

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