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So Christmas is over and 2017 is here with us already. Whilst the pressure of peak delivery may have lifted for retailers and their carrier partners alike the challenge now is dealing with the huge level of returns that the Christmas period generates.
Yesterday was predicted to be the biggest day ever for returns with the number of online returns set to jump by 50% – especially thanks to the extended returns policies offered by retailers and consumers snapping up pre-Christmas bargains during Black Friday and Cyber Monday too.

Now it’s 2017 everyone is looking to the future to see what the year might have in store. We have two opinion pieces this week which focus on where things might go. Patrick Gallagher, CEO of On the dot, shares his views on how delivery will become an even more important part of the customer journey in the next few months.

In our second piece Joanna Perry, head of marketing at Practicology, takes a look forward to see what delivery innovations we may see this year as retailers seek to steal a lead by focusing on new delivery options and the growing demand of consumers for improved convenience.

When it comes to innovation it is Amazon that usually steals the lead. The news that broke between Christmas and New Year that the company was planning airship style warehouses should perhaps have been of little surprise – no matter how far-fetched the idea sounds. The company has filed a patent for an airbourne fulfilment centre as it looks to move its drone plans ever forward.

Not to be beaten was the revelation, pre-Christmas, that drone specialist Flirtey and convenience chain 7-Eleven, had successfully completed its first month of routine commercial drone deliveries with 77 deliveries made over the period to a dozen customers on the initial trial. The news came shortly after Amazon’s own revelation of a maiden flight although Flirtey and 7-Eleven actually made their first delivery back last summer.

Change and innovation is also afoot for two more companies featured in our newsletter this week with Seko Logistics celebrating the end of its 40th anniversary year with further expansion plans and Deutsche Post DHL Group announcing the completion of its purchase of UK Mail.

Last chance to win an iPhone 7 and talk about how you are impressing your customers

Now if Santa didn’t bring you everything you wanted this Christmas – or you just want an extra treat – then it’s your last chance this week to take our delivery expectations survey for the whitepaper research we are currently doing into how retailers are reacting to customer expectations around delivery.

We are also looking for retailers with interesting stories or thoughts to share about the challenges of meeting customer expectations so please do get in touch on liz@edelivery.net. Comments can be on or off the record and I look forward to hearing how you impress your customers or where the challenges lay – or even just more about what you would like to do if you could?

Your most important New Year’s Resolution

Of course, if you are reading this but you haven’t subscribed to eDelivery yet, why not do so now so that in 2017 you are kept in the know. You’ll get a weekly newsletter summarising the main stories we’ve covered, and we’ll keep you informed of other big announcements. You’ll find details on subscribing here.

Thanks for reading and happy 2017 all! May the year deliver all you want!

Image credit: Fotolia