DeliveryX editor Katie Searles on why keeping promises by delivering on time remains key to retail success
Shoppers may have been able to return to the high street in 2022 but their love – and therefore demand – for home delivery remains, creating another interesting year for retailers and logistics firms alike.
Next-day, same-day, within an hour, within 15-minutes, to the home, collect in store, pick up at a parcel locker, and all for free – shoppers now have so many delivery options to choose from. The retailers that succeeded this year were the ones who delivered.
Offering convenient, and increasingly sustainable, delivery options remains of high importance for retailers, as it is often the retailer who suffers for bad service. A study this year found that 70% of UK consumers are less likely to shop with retailers after hearing about a negative delivery experience.
One way of avoiding unhappy customers is to keep them informed regarding their parcel’s journey. DeliveryX’s UK Top500 2022 report highlights that 89% of consumers want the ability to track the delivery, yet only 65% care about receiving it the next day.
Rapid slow down
2022 might be the year that proves speed isn’t everything when it comes to ecommerce delivery. The emergence of rapid delivery (quick commerce or even q-commerce) during the various lockdowns seemed like the next big thing in urban logistics. However, news of recent acquisitions, mergers and exits from unsuccessful markets have led to some asking if the rapid delivery sector can pedal on.
Whether consumers will still want packages in 15 minutes in 2023 remains to be seen, what is clear is that shoppers want deliveries to be green. A huge 85% of European consumers are even willing to boycott companies and brands who contribute to global warming.
It is little wonder that retailers including M&S, Ikea, Zara and Selfridges have all championed sustainability and circular economy initiatives this year. Even supermarket Tesco has pledged to have a fully electric home delivery fleet by 2028 before becoming net zero in the UK by 2035.
Carriers are also doing their bit, with DHL switching to electric vehicles, Evri trialling e-cargo bikes and Yodel planting trees.
Industry in crisis
Investing in sustainable solutions has certainly been at the heart of many retailers and logistics firms’ plans in 2022 but will these green goals take a hit during the recession?
It may become hard for retailers and delivery firms to focus on sustainability targets when they are trying to keep the lights on. 2022 ends with inflation at a record 11.1%, and strike action for a “dignified” wage rocking delivery giant Royal Mail (as well as train operators and the NHS).
Royal Mail has said that it may have to make 6,000 workers redundant if the industrial action continues. But 2022 ends with more strike dates announced and last delivery dates brought forward. Retailers who rely on Royal Mail, and consumers awaiting parcels, will be hoping for a resolution so that disruption doesn’t spill over into 2023.
This feature originally appeared in the Year in Data Report 2022: Multichannel retail in numbers report