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Three ways retail deliveries and returns are being improved: DPD, Asda, Evri

DPD now enables shoppers to say if they need more time to answer the door. Image courtesy of DPD

DPD now enables shoppers to say if they need more time to answer the door. Image courtesy of DPD

Sometimes it’s the small changes to the delivery experience that make a big difference to shoppers. Here are three ways that retailers and delivery companies are improving are improving their customer service.

More accessible delivery

Shoppers who need more time to get to the door when delivery drivers knock can now let delivery company DPD know via its app.

DPD has added a ‘more time needed’ option for shoppers, who can already leave details of where they’d prefer their order to be left, and ask for a ‘you’re next’ notification.

Elaine Kerr, chief executive of DPD UK, says: “We know some people take a little longer than others at getting to the door, so we’ve now added a specific option to the DPD app, to make it easier for recipients to make the request and make it clearer to our drivers when it is required. Our drivers always get a full breakdown of a customer’s preference before each delivery, but this will help many people, especially those that want or need an in-person delivery.

“This is just the latest addition to the DPD app, which also now enables customers to pinpoint their exact location on a map using what3words. We are always listening to customer feedback and looking for the little things that make a big difference. We want the DPD delivery experience to be great for everyone, regardless of where they live or their personal circumstances, and the DPD app is the best way to help customers personalise their delivery preferences and give their driver the most specific instructions.”

Doorstep returns

Asda online shoppers can now return goods to more than 100 retailers including its clothing business when they take delivery of their grocery order. The supermarket is trialling handing back unwanted orders to their home shopping driver – removing a trip to a supermarket or post office – in 48 areas.

The move uses Asda’s toyou parcel network, and means that shoppers can track their package on its return journey to the retailer. Customers simply tell the delivery driver that they have items to return. In return they’ll get a receipt that they can use to track the journey.

Simon Gregg, senior vice-president of ecommerce at Asda, says: “We know that customers increasingly want to be able to access more services more conveniently to better fit in with their lifestyle. By partnering with toyou to efficiently use space available within our home shopping vans, we’re able to offer online grocery customers an additional service that makes it simple to return items purchased via and hundreds of the nation’s favourite retailers.

“With many more of us now shopping for fashion items online, this trial gives customers added value when they shop with us.”

Sustainable fuels

Evri – formerly Hermes – is testing the use of a sustainable fuel made from waste vegetable oil in its diesel vehicles. It says Green D+HVO – a replacement fuel for diesel that is made from waste and residue oils – can be used instead of diesel without any need to modify vehicles. The trial is designed to test claims that the fuel can reduce emissions by more than 90% and to see what volume of fuel is needed.

During the trial, Evri will use Green D+ HVO for its HGV fleet at its Brooklands depot.

David Landy, head of fleet at Evri, says: “At Evri we are currently using CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) vehicles for our first mile, client collections and trunking and have been investing in electric vehicles for the ParcelShop fleet (final mile). The middle mile has been the tricky one to get right and we have trialled the 12t CNG and continue to look at that as an option as well as electric vehicles. Green D+ HVO isn’t widely available and there’s a limited supply so it isn’t possible to run our entire fleet from this fuel but, subject to this trial, we believe it will be a viable option to help support our sustainable delivery commitments.”

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