UK consumers have never had it so good when it comes to home delivery, but the pressure is on retailers to juggle multiple services to guarantee success at Christmas, according to Centiro.
From using cycles, motorbikes, drones, robots and even London buses, through to one-hour slots and lockers where items can be dropped off, the range of delivery and fulfilment options has increased dramatically over the past year. The UK market is leading the way, but retailers must take a step back to ensure they are confident in their ability to seamlessly fulfil orders through every single channel they offer, Centiro argues. Problems with Christmas deliveries at this time could do serious long-term damage to their reputations.
“Consumer expectations could rocket past current levels if the market continues its shift to provide innovative delivery services that are available in the UK as well increasingly granular detail to consumers, such as delivery driver name, location and exact time of arrival. This means the successful retailer of the future will be the ones that continue to focus on customer service, with a seamless customer experience across all the delivery services they offer. In Christmas party terms, they have invited the guests, but must get to work wrapping the presents, cooking the dinner and laying the table,” says Bobby Shome, Business Development Director EMEA, Centiro.
“People are intolerant of problems with deliveries, especially over the Christmas period. They’re also increasingly demanding around the introduction of new delivery options, such as same-day one hour delivery windows and locker pick-ups. Retailers can’t rest on their laurels as wave after wave of innovation rolls in – if they don’t keep up with the times, customers will head elsewhere. This means it’s crucial to have a central ’hub’ from which they can easily manage a variety of fulfilment services and providers, whether that’s shipping items from overseas, or getting them to a specific location within a set time frame.”