State of the Industry: European Online Delivery

In a world where consumers expect value for money as standard, price is not necessarily a differentiator anymore. As a result, retailers have turned to other aspects of the shopper experience to gain ground over the competition – and one of the most fiercely fought battles is fulfilment.

Big companies are raising the bar on what ‘standard delivery’ looks like, with next day delivery being surpassed by same day and even same hour services, and that’s before we take click-and-collect into consideration.

To provide a snapshot of retailers’ delivery capabilities at present, and forecast where the industry is heading in future, eTail Delivery has published a new report benchmarking the state of European online delivery, in conjunction with Pitney Bowes. Retail Connections has been given access to this report, to bring you some of the key findings that retailers need to know:

International customers are a rapidly growing market

The UK is a hive of global retail activity, as there is a real appetite among international shoppers for British brands. Around 40% of the senior retail personnel that eTail Delivery surveyed claim that between a third and half of their deliveries are currently for overseas customers.

Retailers need to be aware of the consequences that can occur from international fulfilment, though. Nasty surprises like additional postage charges can damage customer relationships, and therefore organisations should be serving up a DDP model to ensure fully-landed cost calculations, compliance management and logistics execution.

There’s an underlying fear around guaranteed next day delivery

While most of eTail Delivery’s research shows increased confidence in retailers’ delivery offerings – more companies are offering free UK delivery, re-delivery options and email/text progress updates, for example – there is a growing fear around guaranteed next day delivery.

Only 42% of UK retail businesses offer a guaranteed next day delivery service at present, down from 47% a year ago. However, almost a quarter (23%) provide guaranteed next day European delivery – up from 8% in 2015.

Supply chain visibility is slipping down the agenda

The key to a successful delivery service is complete visibility of inventory across the supply chain at any point in time, yet the willingness to invest in the supply chain is slipping down retailers’ agenda.

While 59% of senior retail decision makers believe they have adequate supply chain visibility at present, a further 37% claim they do not – but don’t think this is an issue. Only 4% without the ability to find an item quickly and easily at any point time feel they need to put new technology in place to enhance their capabilities.

For more insights into European online delivery, download eTail Delivery’s report in association with Pitney Bowes.

 You can also discover more about fulfillment trends and challenges by attending eTail Delivery’s next event, Transforming The Online Retail Supply Chain, on 21-22 September in Amsterdam.

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