Customers stress over the ‘will it be delivered in time for Christmas’ question and delivery services stress over high volumes and tight deadlines.
Paul Doble (Chief Sales and Marketing officer at DX which is a leading independent logistics and parcel distribution company to the retail market) discusses how customer demand, tight time scales and thinly stretched resources impact Christmas shoppers and retailers.
At Christmas time retailers are at risk of over promising and under delivering to their customers. To avoid this happening, retailers need to set realistic objectives that still reflect the needs of todays customers. A new study from ChannelAdvisor (leading provider of global based e-commerce solutions) showed that UK retailers are expecting an increase in sales this Christmas compared to last year. 38% of retailers expect sales growth if more than 10%. This means retailers need to up their game and make sure the have a strong relationship with suppliers and warehouses to ensure customers are not disappointed with late deliveries.
With the weather starting to take a turn for the worst shoppers take comfort in online stores to avoid bad weather and save time however, adverse weather equally affects deliveries. Note to all, shoppers don’t rely on next day delivery and always read the small print. Not only just associated with contracts the small print often gives the estimated delivery if adverse weather conditions/complications do occur and if you can claim back money paid for faster delivery.
Warehouse and carriers often struggle with the sudden increase in volume and have limited resources. Careful planning is essential to ensure enormous quantities of parcels aren’t dumped into a warehouse which can damage goods and can get lost amongst other orders. This why retailers such as John Lewis, Boots and House of Fraser promote and encourage customer to use their in store click and collect system.
Due to the pressure and time and vast amounts of volume some carriers struggle to find an appropriate place to leave parcels which often results in them being left out visible on doorsteps giving opportunities to potential thieves. This is another reason why the click and collect system is a great alternative yet often defeats the point of the convenience of ordering online and having it delivered.
The busy Christmas periods comes with holiday pressure, limited stock and sell out products if combined with late delivery arrivals it leaves both the customer and supplier stressed and frustrated.
Paul Doble concludes: “Whilst Christmas is an extremely busy period for deliveries, it’s crucial that retailers don’t forget these finer details. With the correct planning and a trusted relationship with suppliers, it’s possible for retailers to deliver a top quality service – as well as the all important presents – in time for Christmas.”