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Climate Action Now: The Urgency of eCommerce Businesses ‘Going Green’

Climate Action Now: The Urgency of eCommerce Businesses ‘Going Green’

Talk to us about becoming sustainable
GFS Climate change
GFS sustainability

Climate change is at the forefront of everyone’s minds with extreme weather events devastating countries across the world, and governments working on ways to reduce carbon emissions. Retailers & consumers are increasingly focused on climate issues, for both the planet and also their own businesses.  As customers become more eco conscious, businesses face losing sales if they don’t show they’re adapting.  A third of customers say they are ‘highly engaged’ in creating a sustainable lifestyle and that converts to their buying practices[i]. 67% check a brand’s sustainability before purchasing[ii] and 73% of global consumers say they would change their consumption habits to reduce environmental impact.[iii] Environmental concerns from customers are impacting their behaviours, so now is the time for eCommerce businesses to take action to ensure they don’t get left behind.

Packaging sustainability

One area eCommerce businesses can create a more sustainable strategy is through packaging. The global eCommerce industry used approximately 2.1 billion pounds of plastic packaging in 2019[iv] and the UK is the third biggest culprit after the US and China[v]. On top of that, eCommerce used 10x more packaging than bricks and mortar stores[vi], with many businesses over packaging to ensure products arrive undamaged. Many businesses are beginning to tap into more eco-friendly options, focusing on recyclable bags and reducing the size of parcels to avoid stuffing boxes full of plastic.

However, the final mile to the consumer is one of the most opportune areas for improvement and is becoming a key focal point for eCommerce businesses. Going green in an industry that relies on carbon emitting vans on roads is easier said than done. With significant logistics and delivery systems, it’s clear that eCommerce businesses are dealing with a large carbon footprint. For the past few years, environmental technology such as drones and delivery robots have been touted as future solutions, as well as utilising current mainstream services such as Parcelshops and using Electric Vehicles.

Car charging

In the UK, 27% of green gas emission is caused by transport[vii], with logistics and delivery being a contributor to this. Due to the steep rise in eCommerce during the pandemic, and a projection of deliveries expected to grow by 78% by 2030[viii], the urgency for a more sustainable final mile will only grow. With the government urging businesses to cut their emissions to NetZero by 2050 or sooner[ix], a key focus for the industry now and in coming years will be how they invest, diversify and refine the services that are offered in order to deliver this goal.

sustainable business

All businesses will need to be able to show their customers how they are becoming more sustainable and how their customers can choose services that fit with their drive to a sustainable lifestyle. Offering customers more green delivery options can be difficult when just working with one carrier but working with lots of different carriers can introduce complexity into a retailer’s business. However, a business can benefit from the best of both worlds by working with a single multi carrier partner, for fast and easy access to all available services through a single contract. But it doesn’t stop there. Finding a multi-carrier partner with the logistics expertise and capabilities to consolidate parcels across multiple carriers takes it one crucial step further. Not only are they in unique position to consolidate parcel volumes and help retailers offer the broadest range of sustainable delivery solutions, but they can potentially also reduce final mile costs through greater operational efficiency, passing back to retailers the benefits of both. Done the smart way, everyone benefits – the planet, your bottom-line costs, and of course your online sales because by offering customers sustainable delivery options means they can shop guilt-free.  Finding a single multi-carrier delivery partner is by far the easiest and perhaps fastest way to set you on your way to sustainable delivery so you don’t get left behind.

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Sources:

[i] https://www.blog.shippypro.com/green-leaders-how-fedex-express-and-other-ecommerce-companies-are-responding-to-consumer-demand-for-sustainable-ecommerce/

[ii] https://parcellab.com/blog/sustainability-online-retail/

[iii] https://www.bigcommerce.co.uk/blog/ecommerce-sustainability/#consumers-are-demanding-sustainable-ecommerce

[iv] https://www.statista.com/statistics/1271093/annual-e-commerce-plastic-packaging-use-globally/

[v] https://www.practicalecommerce.com/charts-plastic-waste-from-ecommerce-is-flooding-the-world

[vi] https://www.planetly.com/articles/sustainability-in-e-commerce-7-ways-your-brand-can-reduce-its-carbon-footprint

[vii] https://www.varsity.co.uk/science/9086

[viii] https://www.planetly.com/articles/sustainability-in-e-commerce-7-ways-your-brand-can-reduce-its-carbon-footprint

[ix] https://www.gov.uk/government/news/calling-all-small-businesses-to-lead-the-charge-to-net-zero

2022-01-13T14:40:39+00:00January 12th, 2022|

How could International eCommerce Services help grow my business?

How could International eCommerce Services help grow my business?

International eCommerce Services
earth with travel routes around it

Looking to expand your customer base, increase competitiveness and grow your business? Then taking your business international may be the answer. It is estimated that by 2024, the global ecommerce market will reach a total of $6.388 trillion, an increase of $1.497 trillion from 2021. These figures demonstrate the significant impact of borderless ecommerce and the major opportunities for online retailers.*

You may be hesitant to make this big move, especially with the economic impacts of Covid-19 still looming, but a study by CFO uncovered that 45% of respondents were either in the process of expanding their business globally or would be doing so within the next year.**

Does your business need an international delivery partner?

In short, yes. A good international delivery partner will have the expertise and technologies needed to help your business navigate deliveries in different countries with ease.

So, how exactly is this achieved?

1. Specialised Technology

A good international delivery partner, like GFS, will give your business access to specialised technologies that work together to achieve a seamless cross-border delivery and returns process. Everything from automatically calculating local duties and taxes, to multiple language options and paperless trades. This technology will be invaluable to your business as you start to expand internationally, helping you to overcome any challenges by tracking all parcels across the country and enabling you to remain in full control.

2. Market Knowledge

An online delivery partner will not only be able to offer you access to market leading technology, but they will have in-depth knowledge of all markets. This will help your business to optimise the delivery process as you gain an understanding of the different cultures, highlight important opportunities, and learn about new consumer preferences. Your international eCommerce partner will also be aware of certain regulations that you may not have considered. For example, in India your shoppers will need to fill out more personal documentation in order to receive the item, and in Brazil import duties and complex policies prolong the delivery process.^ With emerging markets accounting for around 59% of total global GDP+, ensuring that your business had the backup of country specific expertise is vital for success.

parcels being delivered

3. Multi Carrier Shipping

Through working with multiple carriers, a partner that specialises in international eCommerce can help you give your customers a choice of delivery and returns. Offering a variety of delivery options is important when choosing to expand overseas, with collection-in-store being a popular choice for UK consumers (62%), 31% of German shoppers choosing delivery to a locker and 58% of French shoppers opting for delivery to a pick-up point or local shop. The key reason as to why all businesses should offer a range of delivery options is to help make the lives of their customers easier, with 48% of shoppers stating that they are happy to pay for convenience.^^

Why GFS is the perfect international delivery partner for you

Operating across over 220 destinations, GFS International eCommerce is a dynamic international delivery service that uses intelligent routing software to ensure that every parcel is sent with the optimum delivery service. GFS continuously monitors and adjusts your delivery based on performance cost, mitigating risks, reducing costs and saving you time.
Our promises to you:

  • Confidence that every one of your parcels is optimised to the best delivery service and cost.
  • Easy entry to international markets so that you can grow your business worldwide.
  • Reducing the time, cost and effort of international shipping.
  • Helping you to deliver the best-in-class delivery experience to your customers every time.

All the hard work is done for you, one label, one tracking number, one collection, but a choice 3 simple service levels, international deliveries have never been so simple!

international ecommerce services

*https://www.emarketer.com/content/worldwide-ecommerce-will-approach-5-trillion-this-year
**https://www.worldfirst.com/uk/blog/guides/6-reasons-to-expand-internationally-in-2021/
^https://www.easyship.com/blog/countries-with-the-toughest-shipping-restrictions
+ https://www.worldfirst.com/uk/blog/guides/6-reasons-to-expand-internationally-in-2021/
^^https://www.imrg.org/blog/what-do-customers-actually-want-when-it-comes-to-delivery/

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2022-01-05T16:40:08+00:00December 16th, 2021|

GFS International: Final Posting Dates for Christmas Delivery

GFS International PLUS IOSS & DDU

Date received by GFSCountry
2nd DecRest of the World
5th DecAustralia & New Zealand
8th DecCanada
8th DecCzech Republic, Greece, Slovakia, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Croatia, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Ukraine, Poland
9th DecSweden, Finland, Denmark
13th DecPortugal, Spain, Italy
15th Dec Germany, Netherlands, Ireland IOSS, Belgium, Austria & France
15th Dec USA
19th DecIreland DDU

Economy IOSS & DDU

Date received by GFSCountry
30th NovRest of the World
3rd DecAustralia, New Zealand
5th Dec USA
7th DecAfrica, South America, Asia, Far East, Middle East
8th DecCyprus, Czech Republic, Finland, Italy, Poland, Sweden
15th Dec Austria, Denmark , France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland
16th Dec Belgium, Luxembourg

Economy Untracked DDU

Date received by GFSCountry
30th NovRest of the World
3rd DecAustralia, New Zealand
5th Dec USA
7th DecAfrica, South America, Asia, Far East, Middle East
8th DecCyprus, Czech Republic, Finland, Italy, Poland, Sweden
15th DecAustria, Denmark , France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland
16th Dec Belgium, Luxembourg
2022-01-05T16:42:22+00:00December 9th, 2021|

Black Friday: What Happened and What Does It Mean for the Rest of Peak?

Black Friday: What Happened and What Does It Mean for the Rest of Peak?

Talk to us about your Peak season 2021

Over the last two years, eCommerce businesses have experienced unprecedented sales as lockdowns, remote working and other impacts of Covid19 led customers to spend more money online. In the space of just 12 months, the ecommerce industry saw 5 years’ worth of growth in online sales*. Peak season in 2020 delivered extraordinary sales, as the high levels throughout the year led to ‘peak on peak’ over Christmas. Businesses struggled to predict volumes and carrier capacity, not sure what would be thrown at them next. Challenges continued into 2021, with Brexit, supply chain issues, fuel and driver shortages all leaving ecommerce businesses scrambling to tackle the latest problem. So, as businesses stepped into 2021 peak, it was another year of the unknown. Will peak selling hit the same volumes of 2020? Will we again see unpredictable patterns that don’t follow a traditional peak? Although its early days, analysis of Black Friday 2021 does help us start to paint a picture of how Peak 2021 will play out.

What happened on Black Friday?

Overall, we again saw strong volumes over Black Friday weekend and into Cyber Monday. However according to IMRG, sales were down by 14% compared to the same day last year**. Still, it is perhaps more realistic to compare sales to the year before, rather than unpredictable sales patterns of 2020. So, despite the minor drop in sales in 2021, volumes remain high across eCommerce as more consumers buy online than ever before. However, clearly some industry wide challenges such as stock delays and product shortages may continue to have an impact as Peak continues.

Carrier networks performed well during black Friday, even with Storm Arwen and snow plaguing the country over the weekend. Clearly the extensive planning that took place in preparation for Peak paid off, with many businesses starting planning even earlier than usual. Many carriers such as DPD, Hermes & DHL have invested heavily in infrastructure and staff over the last year, including pop up depots across the country, to ensure they could handle the forecasted volumes.

christmas gift

What does Black Friday mean for Peak 2021?

There is still a question over customer sentiment in 2021. In 2020, a lot of consumers spent more money on Christmas following a year of no holidays, as well as different tier of lockdowns leading to more people buying online. This year it remains to be seen whether consumers overall will spend less. There are also mitigating factors like energy costs and inflation that could affect consumer confidence and stop them going hard and fast on shopping. Shortages are also affecting consumer choices, with 51% concerned over supply chain issues.**

Black Friday and Cyber Monday ring in Peak every year and can help us forecast how the rest of Peak will go. Although sales in this period were down, Black Friday is just one day, and it is very likely that peak will come late this year. The week leading up to Christmas looks likely to be far busier for online deliveries than in previous years; with more deliveries taking place on Christmas Eve than usual.

Flexibility and Agilty is Vital

The key feature that all businesses need in this environment is flexibility and agility. They need to be able to adapt whatever happens in this peak, and in the future. Peak is where GFS come into our own. Through our multi carrier services and technology we are able to ensure that businesses have the support and contingency they need to give customers great delivery experiences. GFS can support businesses whatever peak throws at them, steering businesses to make the right choices in times of uncertainty.

*https://www.cityam.com/online-retail-sales-record-five-years-growth-in-12-months-due-to-pandemic/
** IMRG Capgemini Online Retail Index

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2021-12-10T09:04:49+00:00December 7th, 2021|

2021 Christmas Carrier Schedule

GFS Christmas Carrier Schedule
 DHL ExpressDHL ParcelDPDDPD LocalDX FreightHermesTuffnells
Wednesday
22nd December
Normal ServiceNormal ServiceNormal ServiceNormal ServiceNormal Service - Last day for pre Christmas deliveriesNormal ServiceNormal Service
Thursday
23rd December
Collections with extended transit timesNormal ServiceNormal ServiceNormal ServiceNormal Service - Last day for pre 09:30 & 12:00 deliveriesNormal ServiceNormal Service - Premium service next day delivery
Christmas Eve Friday 24th DecemberAM Collections with extended transit timesDeliveries OnlyNormal ServiceNormal ServiceNo collections - Only pre 09:30 & 12:00 deliveriesNormal ServiceNo Collections - Premium services up to Noon
Christmas Day Saturday
25th December
ClosedClosedClosedClosedClosedClosedClosed
Boxing Day Sunday
26th December
ClosedClosedClosedClosedClosedNo Deliveries - Pre-booked collections onlyClosed
Monday
27th December
ClosedClosedClosedClosedClosedPre-booked collections onlyClosed
Tuesday 28th DecemberClosedClosedClosedClosedClosedPre-booked collections onlyClosed
Wednesday 29th DecemberNormal ServiceNormal ServiceNormal ServiceNormal ServiceNormal ServiceNormal ServiceNormal Service
Thursday
30th December
Normal ServiceNormal ServiceNormal ServiceNormal ServiceNormal ServiceNormal ServiceNormal Service - Premium service next day delivery
New Years Eve Friday
31st December
AM Collections with extended transit timesDeliveries OnlyNormal ServiceNormal ServiceNo collections - Only pre 09:30 & 12:00 deliveriesNormal ServiceNo Collections - Premium services up to noon
New Years Day Saturday
1st January
ClosedClosedNo DeliveriesNormal ServiceClosedPre-booked collections onlyClosed
Sunday 2nd JanuaryClosedClosedNormal DeliveriesNormal DeliveriesClosedNormal ServiceClosed
Monday
3rd January
ClosedClosedNo DeliveriesNo DeliveriesClosedNormal ServiceClosed
Tuesday
4th January
Normal ServiceNormal ServiceNormal ServiceNormal ServiceNormal Service - No Scottish DeliveriesNormal ServiceNormal Service - No Scottish Deliveries
2022-01-05T16:40:56+00:00November 22nd, 2021|

5 Ways Technology Can Help Reduce The Impact of Post-Peak Returns

5 Ways Technology Can Help Reduce The Impact of Post-Peak Returns

Talk to us about your Peak season 2021

We know that customers return more after Christmas than any other time of year, in fact it’s even got its own national holiday: National Returns Day. Royal Mail has predicted that this one day can see 63% more returns compared to an average day in December (Royal Mail, Delivery Matters Report, 2021).

And this Peak, 41% of consumers plan to shop online more than before (Pitney Bowes, 2021). So, while you may be getting ready for what’s set to be the ‘biggest peak ever’, are you ready for the after effect of returns?

57% of retailers say returns have a negative impact on the day-to-day running of their business (Barclaycard, 2021) – which is something you’ll want to avoid after a busy peak season!

It’s no secret that returns have gone digital. Many of the UK’s biggest retailers now enable customers to submit returns online. But how can technology like this help you ease the burden of returns and reduce the impact on your bottom line?

1. Greater control of your returns policy

An online returns portal enables you to control returns from a central hub, so you can adapt your returns policy to different order types at the flick of a switch. For example, you may choose to offer specific carrier services for high value goods, or you may wish to charge for international returns but offer free returns for damaged goods, you may wish to adjust the refund time during busy periods – this can help you monitor returns in real time to maintain the customer experience, manage carrier spend and protect profitability.

Infographic: The delivery mistakes retailers make at Peak

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2. More choice and flexibility for customers

No longer restricted by the number of returns labels you can squeeze on a delivery note, you can offer customers dozens, if not hundreds, of different returns options! And while this might sound overcomplicated, it actually becomes much simpler as you can manage these returns options from a central online management system. By providing greater choice and flexibility of returns to customers, this will create a positive post-purchase experience that will attract future sales well into the New Year.

eBook: How a returns portal could help you save and make money with returns

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3. Better visibility of inbound stock so you can manage resource

Traditionally, retailers have very little visibility of returns until they arrive at the warehouse. This can make it difficult to plan and manage the internal resource needed to process these returns, and retailers often end up playing ‘catch up’ – especially in January after a busy peak season.

A returns portal captures the customer’s intent to return at the earliest moment so you can see exactly what volume of returns to expect, product codes, reasons why and what condition they’re likely to be in. This will help you plan and monitor inventory before you receive the goods.

warehouse worker collecting parcels for fulfilment

4. Faster re-stocking so you can sell more!

As returns data is captured online, this removes the need to process paper returns slips, which not only reduces paper waste and cost of printing but speeds up the booking in process when returns arrive back at your warehouse. This means you can get resaleable goods back into stock faster, ultimately helping you to sell more!

5. Less customer service queries

Returns technology can make it easier to track returns, so not only do you know what items are coming back to you but your customers can also track the progress of their return so they can have peace of mind that their return is on its way – and they will soon receive their refund or exchange. This means they will be far less likely to contact you to check you’ve received the return or ask when they can expect their refund. In fact, research by ZigZag Global has found that online returns can reduce customer queries by up to 40%!

Returns technology not only creates a more seamless experience for customers, but reduces the friction often associated with returns by automating many of the key processes, helping you to save time, reduce costs, improve the customer experience, sell more… the list goes on!

And returns technology isn’t reserved for big household name retailers. GFS Global Returns Pro is a fast, affordable way to give retailers the online returns experience they’ve come to expect.

Want to know more?

Watch the demo here!

2021-12-06T11:23:13+00:00November 16th, 2021|

The Benefits of Moving to a Multi Carrier Shipping Solution

For modern eCommerce businesses, ensuring you can keep up with the high demands of customers can be challenging. Customers want a wide choice of delivery options to choose the most convenient one for them and full tracking so they can keep an eye on their parcel. Not meeting customer expectations can damage sales as well as customer retention. To give your customers, the best experience, you need to work with multiple carriers, but different pick up times, contracts, and software integrations can mean it costs more and takes up more of your time. That’s where a multi-carrier shipping solution can help by consolidating everything from the different carriers into one system. Add to that a single, multi-carrier partner offering all the delivery services and support under one roof – and you’re living the dream!

Benefits of a Multi Carrier Shipping Solution:

1. Cost efficient

Shipping can greatly impact the buying choices of your customers, with almost 50% of consumers abandoning their purchase due to a limited amount of delivery options. So, it is essential to provide a more choice to your customers. This can be do which can be done efficiently through multiple carrier partnerships. Having this choice of carriers is not only beneficial to your customers but also for your business, as you are able to compare the prices of different providers and choose the most cost-efficient option. In addition, it will provide you with the power of negotiation to further drive down shipping costs.

2. Greater control

Multi-carrier shipping solution consolidates all information from different carriers, giving you instant access to everything you need to know all in one place. The software acts as a database for all shipment information which reduces your admin and saves you time, whilst also allowing you to keep track of all deliveries and prevent issues turning into problems for your customers.

3. Flexibility

Along with control, flexibility is also vital when providing a delivery service as it is impossible to predict when an obstacle will arise. Multi-carrier shipping solutions give you the flexibility to easily switch over to a different carrier when one is over capacity or underperforming, or even distribute parcel volumes across two or more carriers so that you are not reliant on one, helping you to mitigate risks and keep customers happy.

parcels being delivered

4. Best customer experience

Customers rate the experience of any business based on their journey, from pre-purchase stages to post-purchase stages, and with 77% expecting top-notch service, it is important to remember that shipping and delivery are just as important as getting your customers to make a purchase. Utilising a multi-carrier approach will give your customers the freedom of delivery choice, the ability to track and monitor their parcel and provide instant updates on the shipment journey. All of which, allows you time to proactively address any delay issues, prevent bad experiences and meet customer expectations.

Working with a multi-carrier partner like GFS will provide you with single access to the industry’s widest network of carrier services, increase efficiency, reduce operational costs and meet the needs of your customers. Through one technology integration solution you can have instant access to all of these benefits and so can your customers.

Managed Multi-carrier Services

2021-11-12T16:17:56+00:00November 12th, 2021|

What’s the best eCommerce software for my business?

eCommerce software can support your online business by saving you time and increasing the efficiency of your processes. It can help you deliver parcels quicker, makes customers happier, and help stop your warehouse from becoming overwhelmed. So, what type of software is best for your business? There are so many different options on the market, where do you even start?

We’ve pulled together a list of key features to look for when searching for eCommerce Software, that can help you save time, money and grow your sales.

label being printed

1. Managing Multiple Carriers

Working with multiple carriers can be complicated when they have different technology for labelling, tracking and invoicing. Having all orders under one system increases business efficiency, as it allows you to set up automated processes that cut the time needed to fulfil an order. In addition, you can reduce operational costs as deliveries for each sales channel are grouped together and the most efficient shipment path can be calculated.

How can GFS help?

The GFS Selector helps take away the pain points of despatch and delivery, helping you work smarter, not harder, so you can scale and grow to meet the ever-evolving demands of eCommerce.

GFS Selector
online shopping illustration

2. Offering More Parcel Delivery Options

With almost 50% of consumers abandoning their purchase due to a limited amount of delivery options, it is clear that choice and convenience are a top priority for the modern consumer. The only way to give your customers what they want is through working with multiple carriers who offer a range of shipping services, and then using multi-carrier technology to integrate these service options with your existing eCommerce platform. The use of this technology gives you full control and flexibility, enabling you to manage your online orders and switch off delivery options if carriers are over capacity.

How can GFS help?

GFS Checkout customers outperform the industry by more than 16% on basket conversion rates because we offer maximum delivery choice and convenience. Our powerful rules-based engine enables you to tailor delivery to the address and order type of each customer in real time, so customers can buy more easily and more frequently.

GFS Checkout
screen shot of online returns

3. The Right Returns Management System

The returns process is just as important as the delivery process. You need to provide your customers with a simple and seamless experience if you want to encourage repeat purchases and good reviews. Having an efficient eCommerce returns management system will give your customers access to a variety of returns options to choose so that they can find the one best suited to them. This will also help to encourage initial sales as 1 in 5 consumers have abandoned a purchase because they were dissatisfied with the returns policy. In addition, customers can track their returns giving them an insight into when their refund will be deposited, or when their replacement will arrive.

Communication between business and customer is always key, but internal communications is just as important. Implementing a returns management system will help warehouse efficiency as they will be kept up to date with the status of all stock.

How can GFS help?

The GFS Global Returns Pro simplifies your returns process and reduces costs with our fast and affordable integrated solutions. We offer full visibility and control over all of your refunds, whilst giving you the tools to provide a market-leading customer experience.

GFS Global Returns Pro
GFS track and trace illustration

4. Offering the Best Customer Service

Customer service directly impacts brand loyalty, with 77% of customers expecting top-notch service. This includes offering seamless delivery and returns, quick communication, and transparency throughout the whole sales process. eCommerce software can help you to stay in control of your shipments and offer tracking updates to your customers, keep them updated and in-the-know if any issues arise. Making customers aware of any delays is the most effective way to manage expectations and minimise dissatisfaction – it also gives you more time to find a solution!

How can GFS help?

GFS Seeker helps you track and trace all your deliveries in one place, so you can see exactly where each parcel has been – across all carriers, services and destinations.

GFS Seeker

GFS Manager helps customer service teams resolve parcel exceptions fast through direct contact with carriers and consignees.

GFS Manager

GFS Multi-Carrier eCommerce Technology

Your customers are looking for a fast, reliable and most importantly, convenient service which can be difficult to achieve when you are offering a variety of services. GFS offers a complete technology toolkit, complimentary with our Multi-Carrier Services, that enhances every stage of the delivery journey, from delivery options at the checkout, to labelling, tracking and reporting – across all carriers, countries and sales channels – through one single integration. Having everything in one place is beneficial for both your customers and business. Our technology allows for greater control and efficiency throughout your business by helping you to reduce risks, increase communication and cut costs. Customer satisfaction will increase as they will have the option to choose the delivery service that is best suited for them, be able to track their orders and have an easy returns process.

2021-11-03T11:38:51+00:00October 14th, 2021|

What Shipping Options Are Available with a Multi-carrier eCommerce Partner?

In today’s society, speed and convenience are at the root of almost everything we do, and we are constantly looking for new ways to improve the efficiency of our busy lives. This is no different to when it comes to buying online. If your business isn’t offering a variety of convenient delivery options, customers are highly likely to buy from a competitor. Almost 50% of consumers are abandoning their purchase due to a limited amount of delivery options that were inconvenient for them, proving that choice and convenience is a top priority.

At GFS, we provide single access to the industry’s widest network of carrier services, so you can meet the unique needs of your business and give your customers the power of choice, whether that’s domestic, click and collect or international delivery.

3 GFS boxes illustrative style

Domestic Shipping Options

We pride ourselves in offering a wide range of shipping options within the UK for your customers to choose from. With 63% of shoppers saying that delivery speed is an important consideration when making a purchase, our services can cover all customer demands helping you to reduce the rate of abandoned carts.

  • Same Day
    Same day delivery is exactly what it says – customers can receive their packages within the day of they purchased it, usually only when purchased before a certain cut off time. It’s the quickest way to get their delivery, and those who choose it are usually willing to pay for extra for the convenience. Offering Same Day as an option is important to consumers, with 49% saying that same day delivery is an added value when buying.

  • Timed
    Timed delivery enables your customers to choose a time that suits their day and when they will be at home to receive the parcel. Having this option helps customers who aren’t at home all day or may need it for a certain event. At GFS our times service includes before 9am, 10:30am or 12pm the next day
  • Next Day
    Next Day delivery is one of the most popular delivery options, and 45% of consumers say that next day delivery would make them more likely to show with a business. A slightly cheaper option for customers that Same Day or Next Day Timed, this still guarantees a quick delivery for those who want their parcel quickly.
  • Weekend
    For customers who are too busy during the week or unable to be home to accept the delivery, weekend delivery means they don’t have to worry about missed delivery issues.

  • Standard and Economy Delivery
    Standard and Economy are usually the cheapest delivery options for your customers. Standard shipping is usually fast (2 day), but a more cost-effective delivery option that Same or Next Day and a good option for customers who don’t want to pay extra. Even cheaper is Economy (3+ days) which is a low-cost option for those who aren’t in a rush to get their package.

  • 2-Man
    2 Man delivery is simple – it is used for larger items such as furniture, white goods and electronics that are larger, bulkier and heavier items that need 2 people to move them. It gives your customer the assurance that they won’t have to help the delivery person get the item into the house.
  • Swap It
    Swap It Delivery is perfect for anyone who has an old, faulty or unwanted goods that they are replacing. Instead of having to get rid of the item themselves, the delivery driver takes it away to dispose of it.
illustrated computer reading "over 75,000 global locations"

Click & Collect

Click & collect has grown in popularity with around 50% of shoppers now reporting to use the service, and 45% of those who pick up from the story also going on to purchase something else whilst there. The efficiency of this service provides quick and free deliveries that are also more environmentally friendly and reduce the risk of missed deliveries.

Our Click & Collect service gives customers the flexibility and convenience to collect their parcels from over 75,000 global locations at a time and location that suits them, with a choice of:

  • Parcel Shops
    A collect location where customers can not only pick up their deliveries, but also drop off returns.
  • Parcel Lockers
    An electronic locker that is able to securely hold packages.
  • Collect Instore
    Packages are stored in the shop that you have purchased from.

International Delivery

International shipping involves delivering goods between different countries, this can be by air, road or by boat. Importing and exporting goods internationally requires many rules and regulations that need to be abided by, through using a Multi Carrier eCommerce Partner this process can be simplified.

At GFS we offer a range of international shipping options to cater to your customers’ needs:

  • Express By Air
    For fastest possible transit worldwide.

  • European Road Standard
    For non-time-sensitive delivery across Europe.

  • Worldwide Economy (3-10 Days)
    Cost-effective international delivery.

  • Timed
    For time-critical delivery by a precise time anywhere in the world.

We like to go above and beyond, to ensure you deliver an optimal shopping experience to your customers. Therefore, we also offer specialist delivery options such as:

  • Tracked or Untracked – customers are given the choice to track their parcels journey using a tracking number.

  • Signed For – to ensure that a safe delivery has been successful customers can sign for their parcel.

  • Age Restricted Delivery – can only be delivered to a person over the age of 18

  • In Flight Delivery Options – features that are available to the customer once their parcel is in transit, e.g. reschedule delivery address

  • In Flight Delivery Options – features that are available to the customer once their

  • Refrigerated Delivery – for cold or frozen items that need to be kept at that temperature throughout the delivery process

With customers wanting more delivery choice, it’s clear that one carrier can’t do it all. Working with a multi-carrier partner like GFS gives you access to all these delivery options, with single access through our delivery services. One pickup, one technology integration, and one relationship to maintain and all this could be yours.

Contact us to get started

We like to go above and beyond, to ensure you deliver an optimal shopping experience to your customers. Therefore, we also offer specialist delivery options such as:

  • Tracked or Untracked – customers are given the choice to track their parcels journey using a tracking number.

  • Signed For – to ensure that a safe delivery has been successful customers can sign for their parcel.

  • Age Restricted Delivery – can only be delivered to a person over the age of 18

  • In Flight Delivery Options – features that are available to the customer once their parcel is in transit, e.g. reschedule delivery address

  • Refrigerated Delivery – for cold or frozen items that need to be kept at that temperature throughout the delivery process

With customers wanting more delivery choice, it’s clear that one carrier can’t do it all. Working with a multi-carrier partner like GFS gives you access to all these delivery options, with single access through our delivery services. One pickup, one technology integration, and one relationship to maintain and all this could be yours.

Contact us to get started

2022-01-06T11:45:57+00:00October 4th, 2021|

How could delivery management help your business?

Consumer expectations are constantly evolving, and it can be difficult to keep up. However, one thing that remains consistent is that customers want an easy and convenient delivery experience. Effective delivery management can improve your chances of delivering just that, even during times of uncertainty like the Covid19 pandemic which saw parcel traffic increase by 2.6 billion*.

So, what is delivery management and what benefits can it have on your business?

What is delivery management?

Delivery management involves a combination of processes, people and technology that enables you to get a parcel from point A to point B. It includes supervising the different areas of the supply chain, ensuring you are working with the right carriers, and making sure you are using the most efficient technology and processes. The combination of all these things leads to a detailed plan to make sure your delivery is successful. But with consumer expectations so high, delivery management is not just about getting the parcel to the customer, it’s also about giving them a great experience with a variety of delivery options, full tracking and communication, and a quick and efficient overall process.

Who oversees the delivery management process?

Depending on the size and structure of the business, the person that manages the delivery process can have varying roles. However, the job titles are generally along the same lines: logistics, delivery or dispatch manager. Delivery managers are often tasked with managing local delivery and driver operations but in smaller companies, they are usually the middle point of contact between warehouses and whoever is making the delivery.

What are the challenges of delivery management?

Delivery managers can face several challenges when it comes to ensuring an efficient and effective delivery service. Failed deliveries, returned parcels, sudden surges in demand and sales, and completely unpredictable events like the Covid19 pandemic mean that many delivery managers are constantly fighting fires. With a robust delivery management strategy however, businesses can be prepared whatever happens, easily able to scale up or down and react to the unpredictable.

Why is a delivery management system so important for your business?

The reliability and efficiency of your delivery service leaves a lasting impression on the overall customer experience associated with your brand; this is especially true if a consumer is not satisfied with your service. If your business is lacking a strong delivery management process, there is a high risk that you are offering an inconsistence service which could have a detrimental effect on sales and internal operations.

However, by working with an established delivery management company you can begin to see many benefits:

Customer loyalty

  • A good delivery management system will work to identify the best routes and services for your deliveries, ensuring quicker transit times for your customers.
  • Your customers will also be given a choice of delivery options tailored to their address/order for their convenience. This will help to increase sales and reduce the rate of abandoned shopping carts.

Real time data

  • Your delivery management system can give you access to real time data, which means that you are able to track your shipments at all times. This is not only good for business efficiency, but also for your customers.
  • Through knowing where your shipment is you are able to make informative decisions if a parcel is going to be delayed or lost in transit. This will help to avoid customer dissatisfaction and reduce extra operational costs.
  • You can keep your customers informed about the journey of their parcel by sending emails or giving them the tracking number. This will help to reduce the number of customer service enquiries regarding deliveries even if there is a slight delay, as most customers are happy as long as they are aware of any changes.

Business efficiency

  • Delivery management processes can calculate the service for your shipments to ensure an efficient and speedy delivery.
  • All packaging requirements are calculated for you to avoid any possible mistakes, and to help you keep operational costs as low as possible.
  • With many important pieces of information and data required during the delivery process, a delivery management system can work to keep everyone involved up to date. Good supply chain communication is vital to get parcels from the dispatch warehouse to their intended location on time.

Our multi-carrier delivery services give you access to 1000+ services across 220+ locations, all using one system. With just one integration you can get the best carrier rates, support, expert advice and eCommerce software to take all the hassle out of delivery management.

Find out more

What eCommerce software can improve delivery management?

eCommerce software can make the whole delivery management process much easier by providing easy labelling across different carriers and services, robust tracking and electronic customs data.

Our Enterprise Carrier Management offers a complete technology toolkit that enhances every stage of the delivery journey, from delivery options at the checkout, to labelling, tracking and returns – across all carriers, countries and sales channels – through one single integration. We have every element of your delivery process covered whether you are looking to offer same day delivery, a deliver and collect service, or even weekend deliveries.

Having a strong and supportive delivery management system with everything in one place will help your business strengthen its operational efficiencies, allowing you to work smarter, not harder, and save time and money.

Find out more about how your business can utilise our delivery management solutions:

Find out more

2021-10-14T13:48:50+00:00September 20th, 2021|

What is it like working with an eCommerce delivery partner?

Delivery management can be complex – managing different carrier relationships, collections, comparing costs, all while tackling the unpredictable such as sudden surges in demand or carrier delays. So, you may be thinking about outsourcing deliver management, but what is it really like working with an eCommerce delivery partner, and how can they help your business?

Find out everything you need and hear directly from businesses just like yours about what it’s like to work with GFS.

woman holding parcels at Christmas looking at her phone

What does a delivery service partner do?

Your carrier partner might offer you a variety of services and you may feel you have the best rates. However, there is a world of carriers out there and lots of different types of services. Working with multiple carriers might seem too overwhelming – how do you manage all the different contracts, relationships and pick-ups? That’s where a multi-carrier eCommerce delivery partner can help. eCommerce delivery partners manage those relationships for you, so you can get even more delivery services, ensure you have the most competitive rates and easily scale your delivery up or down depending on how busy you are. Multi-carrier delivery is the key to a delivery strategy that works for your business, and only with a partner that has the expertise to handle it all can it be simple and easy.

“There was a limit on how many orders we could send each day, which was really restricting our ability to sell as much as we wanted and grow. I knew GFS was the only way to help us get to the next level.”

How GFS helped AK Kin

How can an eCommerce delivery partner help my business?

An eCommerce delivery partner can help every aspect of your business. If you are working with multiple carriers to give your customers a wide choice of delivery services, your logistics teams will be handling multiple pickups at different times of day. Working with one ecommerce multi-carrier partner means just one collection, whick can ease pressure on your warehouse. It also reduces the admin stress of managing different contracts, label formats and carrier relationships. Being able to scale up and scale down depending on how busy you are, or turn off certain carrier services if they’re over capacity, is also vital, so you can react to what’s going on around you. This adaptability is key when it comes to providing a consistent customer experience that will keep customers coming back.

“GFS has helped transform our delivery strategy and drive 50% growth in online revenues by enabling us to increase operational efficiencies and give customers the choice and service they expect from us, every time.”

How GFS helped Wilko

How do I choose an eCommerce delivery partner?

Choosing the right shipping partner for your eCommerce business is a vital part of your delivery strategy. You might be able to control your website, your advertising and your product lines but once the product leaves your warehouse and is in the hands of your eCommerce delivery partner, you no longer have control over the customer experience. That’s why you need to be sure you’re working with the right partner. There are a lot of things to consider, from service options to software, but ensuring your delivery partner has the expertise to support every part of your delivery journey is vital.

Will transitioning to an eCommerce delivery solution be difficult?

With the right delivery partner, moving your services over is quick and easy. At GFS, set up requires just one single software integration to cover every stage of delivery; from point of sale to the doorstep and back again. Our easy integration will mean 0 days downtime and you will be up and running quickly. Talk to us about how easy it is.

“GFS immediately helped by reducing our carrier contract administration, while cutting our costs, and helping to manage very ‘lumpy’ demand.”

How we helped Hampers.com

Do I need a different eCommerce delivery service for all my sales channels?

No! Our eCommerce software connects all your different channels, so whether you’re selling on your website, Amazon, Notonthehighstreet.com, Etsy or others, all your orders will be entered into one order system for labelling, collections, tracking, delivery and returns. Sound simple? It is!

“Now we do everything through the one GFS system. GFS Checkout has made it easy to add delivery options (we now offer 17), while the breadth of service and automated technology has given us more control and agility to respond to changing customer and business needs. I didn’t know this was possible – it’s unlike any other delivery service we’ve tried before, but it’s absolutely worked for us.”

How we helped Leisure Outlet

Read more case studies and find out how we helped our clients achieve:

50% increase in sales

Dramatically reduce cart abandonment rates

600% increase in parcel volumes

2021-10-05T14:30:04+00:00September 15th, 2021|

Peak Season 2021: Are you ready for make or break?

Peak Season 2021: Are you ready for make or break?

Talk to us about your Peak season 2021
christmas gift

83% of brand marketers think this Christmas will be ‘make or break’ for their business*, according to a study by market research firm Advanis. This might not come as much of a surprise given the struggles faced by businesses over the last 18 months, with both Covid and Brexit causing havoc for businesses. But despite the importance of peak, just 25% of businesses claim to feel prepared*!

So, what can we expect from peak season this year and how can you make it your best yet?

An even bigger, longer- and EARLIER – peak

Black Friday usually rings the bell to kickstart peak trading, but in recent years retailer promotions have stretched out to a week, 2 weeks or even a month before Black Friday. This year, pent up demand is expected to see peak begin even sooner.

After last year’s subdued celebrations, a quarter of the British public think Christmas will be more exciting this year, with 28% planning to start their Christmas shopping before the end of the summer*! Following supply chain issues and delivery delays throughout the pandemic, consumers won’t be leaving anything to chance this Christmas. Retailers should be prepared for this early start to peak, as customers look to secure the products they want in advance. It will be critical to have the stock, staff and space available, while delivery capacity should be locked in as early as possible too.

Your Peak 2021 Checklist

Find out more

7 delivery mistakes retailers make at peak

Find out more

Market-leading eCommerce delivery experiences

With less opportunity to browse instore last year, consumers have become accustomed to the ease and convenience of shopping online, so home delivery will still be first choice for many consumers in the run up to Christmas. Those that are choosing to shop instore are doing so with purpose, which has led to an uplift in Click & Collect, with major retailers like John Lewis, M&S and Pets At Home all expanding their Click & Collect networks ahead of a busy peak season.

Shoppers are continuing to get to grips with a ‘new normal’ post-Covid way of life, which means different things to different people. Retailers that are sensitive to this and offer customers a diverse range of easy and convenient delivery options will come out on top as the market-leaders. 53% of consumers are expecting retailers to be better prepared for peak^, so delivery problems are unlikely to be tolerated by consumers this year, making it important that retailers can make sure they can deliver the goods through every eventuality.

Partnerships to help you pivot

If we’ve learnt anything over the last 18 months, it’s that no matter how well you prepare for anything you can never be 100% ready for every challenge or mishap.

In recent years, delivery during peak has been impacted by a global pandemic, Brexit, extreme weather and carrier capacity issues. This peak is set to be massive, but unpredictable. There are still supply chain blockages around the world, as factories and ports struggle to get back to pre-pandemic productivity levels. New EU VAT rules have caused uncertainty amongst retailers who have had issues implementing new processes. Carriers have also become stricter on volume forecasting, collection timings and service availability during peak – making it imperative not to put all your eggs in one basket.

It goes without saying that a multi-carrier management strategy gives you the flexibility, but a single multi-carrier partner takes away the complexity of managing individual carriers so it’s easier to adapt to change and scale quickly, as well as get access to specialist logistics solutions for extra cover and support, even when things go wrong.

eBook: The ultimate guide to delivery during peak

Download now

How well prepared are you for peak this year? Do you think it will make or break your eCommerce business?

Find out what you need to do to get ready for peak and by when – download our peak checklist! It’s not too late, but the time is now…

Why not speak to us to find out how you can secure a delivery strategy that won’t let you down this peak?

Contact us

Want to know more?

Webinar with hampers.com, Tamebay and GFS – ‘Our secret to protecting Peak’

Watch now

Case Study

“We feel more confident that we can cope, and we’re able to thrive rather than survive”

Read case study

Sources:

*Study of 400 marketers and 1000 UK consumers – Advanis/Sitecore, 2021

^  ‘Peak Selling and The Pandemic’ – Wunderman Thompson Commerce, 2021

2021-11-05T12:38:19+00:00August 24th, 2021|
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