Are home deliveries losing ground to the high street?


Recent research suggested UK shoppers are being drawn back to the high street, rather than making purchases online. Does this mean home deliveries are losing ground?

According to research from Vouchercodes.co.uk, only 41 per cent of consumers are happy to buy goods online and 59 per cent said there were still obstacles preventing them going online. Delivery services were identified as one of these barriers.

What can be done to ensure more Brits opt for online shopping rather than visiting the high street?

Becoming a multi-channel service seems to be working for some of the country’s biggest retailers. Earlier this month, Marks & Spencers revealed that it had plans to extend its ‘bricks and clicks’ approach by building new physical shops that are supported by an online service.

Marc Bolland, M&S’s chief executive, said: “Our strategy of becoming an international, multichannel retailer is more relevant than ever before because of the strong growth potential of international markets. We are focusing on flagship stores to deliver brand presence and stand-out.”

Other companies are trying different approaches to increase sales volumes. Amazon will be bringing its ‘anticipatory shipping’ service to the UK at some point in the future. This means that the online retailer will be predicting what a customer might want to purchase and then will send this product out. The end recipient will then be able to accept or reject the order, depending if they want what has been sent.

However, this may not be the right road to take for the company, as market research from Venda suggests that this pre-emptive action would annoy UK shoppers. The results of the survey revealed that the service could actually put people off buying online.

Car drops are another innovative development that could provide a big boost to home deliveries. This service allows the courier to drop the parcel off into the customers car.

In February, Volvo Cars unveiled Roam Delivery – a service that would allow owners of cars with digital key-technology to authorise a delivery driver to unlock their car and drop off their parcel. This means the end recipient would not have to worry about not being home to sign for a package and they wouldn’t have to drive to a depot to collect it.

Once the drop has been made, the digital key used by the courier no longer exists, which means there is no fear of the courier accessing the car again.

In an increasingly competitive market, delivery companies need to make sure they are using innovative ideas and technology to stay ahead of the competition.

Even simple things can make all the difference, such as informing the customer of when their parcel will be delivered. SmartTask POD can do this and more. It enables companies to manage peak volumes, tracking and tracing incoming and outgoing deliveries.

Downloaded onto an incumbent worker’s smartphone, ruggedised or semi-ruggedised device – including the Motorola TC55 touch computer – the mobile software can run alongside Skillweb’s Houndit technology or a carrier’s current system.

When consumers choose their delivery option during a purchase, the information sent to a carrier relating to the order can be used by the software to generate a communication to the recipient via email or SMS stating an approximate delivery slot. This is based on how long it takes to get from a warehouse to the customer.

Posted by Amy Quayle

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