Ecommerce

Are you delivering the goods when it comes to eCommerce delivery?

Your results

Dynamism in delivery (0 – 33%)
You’re aware of market trends, and you’re conscious of innovation in delivery. But, more dynamism in your delivery service could provide your business with a real competitive edge. Remember, by 2025 home delivery will account for 30% of sales, customers are prioritising fast returns, 82% of customers expect Click & Collect to be free, and 60% of consumers will repeat purchase if they were happy with delivery. At GFS, we’ll deliver for you. Our expertise and multi-carrier solutions will deliver for your customers at every step of the customer journey, speak to us today to see how we can help.

eCommercial (34 – 66%)
You’re commercially aware and well informed in regards to innovations in delivery. However, the world of eCommerce is fiercely competitive, so it’s important to stay ahead of the competition. Just remember, offering convenient home delivery is essential. Ensure you’re refining the home delivery experience – it will account for 30% of all eCommerce sales by 2025, so start now to get ahead. Refine your customer experience with GFS, our expertise and multi-carrier solution will deliver first-class excellence for you and your customers. Speak to one of our experts today to see how we can help.

The full package (67 – 100%)
You’re a connoisseur of delivery. You’ll no doubt receive repeat business with your delivery approach. However, there’s always room for improvement. You might have mastered home delivery, but remember to offer fast returns as well. At GFS, our ranges of shipping solutions are designed to enhance every step of the customer delivery journey, from checkout to doorstep and beyond. We’ll provide you and your customers with a first-class delivery experience that’ll encourage repeat custom and sales growth, so speak to one of our experts today to see how we can help.

See Delivery Differently
At GFS, we understand how challenging it can be to keep meeting customer demands, while also trying to keep control of tight profit margins. Our multi-carrier managed service helps you to see delivery differently and offers one solution to streamline your entire delivery service. Our expertise can help you refine your customer experience and deliver customer satisfaction every time. We’re more than just a multi-carrier – we provide a range of technology solutions that aim to increase revenue. Our solutions provide easy and flexible delivery choice to reduce cart abandonment, increase despatch speed and accuracy, and enhance the delivery experience to encourage repeat purchases. Reap the rewards with GFS.

contact us to find out more
2021-02-09T17:03:59+00:00December 4th, 2020|

Are you making the most of international markets?

Create your own user feedback survey

Your results

Research your market (0-33%)
You’re conscious of international opportunity, and you’re ready to expand, but knowing where and how to start may pose some challenges. Not to worry, GFS can partner with you to ease your transition into international markets and help your business thrive. Remember, in 2020 the customer experience is essential, credit cards are the favoured method of payment and China has the largest eCommerce market share in the world. To grow in international markets, you need to assess which markets your business will perform well in, and understand international delivery methods, duties and taxes.  At GFS, we’ve got the strategic expertise to launch your business take you into new terrains. We’ll help you see do multi-carrier shipping differently. Find out more here…

Cornering the market (34-66%)

Well done, you’ve got the ‘know how’ when it comes to international markets. It’s likely you know what markets are right for your business. You’re aware of international delivery methods, duties and taxes. At GFS we can assist you with global expansion, using our expertise, we can review your processes and help you streamline your services for international markets. We have the expertise to help you – we’ll help you see how to do multi-carrier shipping differently. Find out more here…

International player (67-100%)
With your business savvy, you’re bound to see return on investments. You know what your customers want, and which markets are right for you. We expect you’re experiencing steady growth, so congratulations! But if you want to go from big to major player, we’ve got the expertise to help you make the transition. Whether it’s navigating international delivery methods, duties and taxes, we can help – we’ll help you see how to do multi-carrier shipping differently. Find out more here…

Grow globally with GFS
At GFS, we can help you manoeuvre through international markets with success and efficiency. As the experts in joined-up multi-carrier management, GFS help you expose every opportunity and overcome every delivery challenge, so you can thrive. Whether it’s navigating through duties, taxes or international delivery options – we’ve got the multi-carrier solution, technology and expertise to steer your business into the global market. Get greater growth with GFS today.

contact us to find out more
2021-02-26T09:27:12+00:00December 4th, 2020|

Christmas with Covid – What can we anticipate from Peak 2020?

Christmas with COVID-19 – What can we anticipate from Peak 2020?

Amazon has rung the bell! Peak has officially begun – But what does peak during a pandemic look like?

Amazon Prime Day has officially kicked off Peak 2020, but it’s safe to say that this year it will be unlike any other.

The Coronavirus pandemic has led to unprecedented eCommerce growth with consumers now buying more online than ever. This volume uplift looks set to continue, with UK online spending expected to reach £73.4bn by the end of 2020 (+18.1% post-Covid), and it’s estimated Black Friday will be 14% bigger than the last.

These are big figures, especially when retailers and carriers have been managing peak-level volumes throughout the year already. So, could we be seeing a “peak on top of peak”?

But while Covid has helped some businesses thrive, 2020 also saw some of our favourite retailers and brands sadly collapse into administration. It’s also thought that almost 3 million people will be unemployed by Christmas, so consumers may well be more reluctant to spend.

So, are retailers set for a bumper Q4 or will Covid steal Christmas?

The busiest peak ever?

We think so, yes. Although consumer confidence could be shaky, online will rule supreme as local lockdowns and social distancing continue to keep people away from the high street.

At GFS, our customers have consistently seen an increase of +50% in volume compared to the same period last year – and there appear to be no signs of this slowing down.

Each year peak sets new highs but it feels as though the peak will be turned all the way “up to 11” this year.

This may sound like a dream from a profit perspective, but it could quickly turn into a nightmare if retailers are operationally unprepared to fulfil these kinds of volumes, amid the unpredictability of peak and the uncertainty of a global pandemic.

The sudden impact of Covid exposed some major weaknesses in eCommerce business supply chains, and really highlighted the importance of having flexibility and contingency to adapt at short notice. Any retailers that haven’t taken heed will only continue to stumble through peak in crisis mode, leaving themselves vulnerable and exposed to risk.

Watch out for rigorous carrier measures

So sales may not be a problem, but getting orders delivered to customers in the way and time they want will be more of a challenge.

It is worth noting that carriers have invested millions in expanding their networks this year, opening more depots, procuring more vehicles and hiring more staff to ensure they are match-fit and ready to support what looks set to be a particularly challenging peak.

But – and it’s a big but – carriers are reporting that their anticipated volume forecasts have been supercharged by 5 years, so this peak, carriers are going to be really strict in how they manage volumes through their network.

This means you should be prepared for:

  • Capped parcel volumes
  • Zero flexibility around capacity and collection times
  • Restricted availability of premium services
  • Late collection times but also more failed collections – if overcapacity carriers will simply cancel collections at short notice

It’s critical that your forecasts are as accurate as possible to lock in the right capacity with your carriers, BUT we also know that things don’t always go to plan. So, it’s also vitally important to have access to multiple carriers, to give yourself a ‘Plan B’ if things go wrong.

Super savvy shoppers

While consumers were reasonably understanding of the challenges that retailers faced throughout lockdown, 9 months later they’re not going to be so forgiving – especially as we head closer to Christmas when timing is everything.

Now consumers are expecting to be able to order and receive their delivery when they expect it – virtual queuing and 10-day lead times are just not going to cut it. After all, retailers have had all that time to prepare and fix any operational, technological and logistical issues that were highlighted by Covid – right?

Actually, in a recent study carried out by Brightpearl, 54% of retailers have not made any changes to their fulfilment model since the pandemic.

This Christmas, it won’t just be a battle for the best products or most attractive promotions, but the most reliable delivery. With the spotlight firmly on customer service, combined with the huge hike in parcel volumes, this will naturally result in more inbound customer service queries, which will need to be resolved quickly to minimise any impact on the customer experience and on CS team workloads.

Peak is a time when brand loyalty is really put to the test, and at a time when the patience of the general public is wearing thin. Delivering on your promises will be a key differentiator that will not only win new business but solidify repeat custom through peak and into the New Year.

Beating the January blues – Returns

2nd January is National Returns Day, the day that sees 72% more returns than on an average day in December.

Often businesses forget about returns because the focus is on peak. But with 78% of consumers looking at the returns process before choosing where to shop, they are hugely important. With more people buying online, we can expect to see more returns than ever come January 2021.

An online paperless returns portal is the best way to get visibility of all your inbound returns so they’re easier, faster and more cost-effective to process.

2020 is set to be the most challenging peak yet – are you ready?

Peak is likely to throw up a lot of surprises, and at GFS we love surprises!

We’ve been protecting peak for retailers for the last 20 years, and we actually look forward to it every year because it’s when GFS really comes into its own and when customers are reminded of why they chose us.

“Our only regret after experiencing our first peak with GFS was that we had not done this 10-years earlier!” Hampers.com

This year, we’ve invested heavily in increasing our capacity and ramping up our operation. We’ve opened new depots, added new global suppliers and even expanded into Europe with GFS Europe, to give us more coverage than ever before.

If you need a delivery partner that’s got your back this peak, contact us now to talk about how we can support you – But you’ll need to act fast, the countdown to peak has already begun…

Contact us today.

Find out more

Have you signed up?

Register today for our webinar on 27th January 2021, ‘Peak, COVID, Brexit – what on earth happened?’ for the inside track on how eCommerce withstood the Big 3.

REGISTER TODAY

 

2020-12-10T16:41:01+00:00October 10th, 2020|

What is Multi-Carrier Delivery Management?

Online retailers face a tough market. Customer expectations and ambitions to grow into international markets mean that it’s impossible to provide customers with the delivery options they want across multiple countries, with just one carrier. This means that many eCommerce businesses have to work with multiple carriers to thrive.

Managing different carriers can be a real headache, which is where Multi-Carrier Management comes in. This enables companies to:

Manage carriers more easily
Switch between carriers to reduce costs
Offer a great customer experience with tracking and easy delivery
Reduce cart abandonment
Easily access new cross-border markets
Mitigate risk
Multi-Carrier Delivery Management helps businesses manage different carrier contracts, invoices, fuel surcharges, parcel tracking and reporting all through one single system. This not only simplifies order fulfilment operations and provides business contingency, but it’s also easier to offer customers more delivery options, and generally a better experience overall.

Retailers are also able to easily switch between carriers they want to use for certain deliveries. This not only ensures the best and most cost-effective service is used for each order, but also offers retailers with contingency so they always have a back-up plan, even if the unexpected happens.

Having the option of different carriers not only offers flexibility to businesses, but also gives customers more choice. Customers want delivery options, and have different needs whether it be based on level of convenience, speed or cost. Research consistently shows that customers are more like to buy from a website that offers options so it’s more important than ever to offer as much choice as possible to prevent customers from abandoning their carts at checkout.

Even with effective Carrier Management, working with multiple carriers can be time consuming and costly. With GFS, Multi-carrier Delivery Management is made simple. Through just one relationship, one contract, one technology system and one invoice, GFS can help manage delivery across all carriers, countries and channels, with value-added expertise and operational support. Solving delivery problems is what we do. Contact us today to get started.

2021-02-08T11:34:45+00:00October 6th, 2020|

Contactless Delivery – The New Norm

Lockdown restrictions are slowly being lifted but carriers are still taking extra care to deliver as safely as possible.

You probably already know that contactless delivery has become the norm, so parcels no longer need to be signed for, and drivers and customers can keep their distance to reduce the spread of infection. But proof of delivery is still a must to protect the bottom line and the customer experience – lost parcels cost a lot of time and money and are immensely frustrating for consumers.

But different carriers are carrying out contactless deliveries in different ways, and it’s important to know what your customers can expect from their delivery, and what your POD should now look like.

It’s the same with every carrier – isn’t it?

Yes and no – there are nuances across all carriers. So we spoke to the UK’s top 3 biggest carriers to understand what ‘contactless delivery’ means to them so you have a full understanding of how parcels are actually being delivered in this way and, what the experience is for your customers.

DPD

  • All drivers must take a photo of every parcel at point of delivery
  • Customers receive an email with their delivery slot and instructions for delivery:

“We won’t ask you to sign for your parcel, we’ll take a photo of it instead in your open doorway, as proof it has been delivered. If you’re self-isolating, leave a signed note telling us where to put your parcel.”

  • If the customer is not home, the driver will take a photo of the parcel in the customer’s chosen safe place
  • The customer will be emailed the photo of their parcel once delivery has taken place

Hermes

  • Drivers can sign for deliveries on behalf of customers
  • Drivers are not required to take a photo of the parcel but have the option to when selecting the safe place option “Deliver to household” (only available for standard parcels, not light or large parcels)
  • From September, it will be mandatory for drivers to select “Deliver to household” with option for photo

Yodel

  • Drivers can either leave parcels at the doorstep or knock and wait for the customer to acknowledge receipt of delivery
  • Deliveries are recorded as “Covid19 Unable To Sign”
  • If proof of delivery is required, the driver will record the name of the person who takes the parcel
  • If the customer is not at home, Yodel will make two further attempts to deliver
  • Yodel is planning to introduce photo PODs by Q2 in 2021

It is the responsibility of our trusted carriers to provide drivers with the equipment and processes to deliver correctly and safely, so it’s great that carriers have adapted to make sure they can still capture a POD without the need for a physical signature.

But, what’s next for delivery?

It wouldn’t be surprising if carriers choose to adopt some of these changes permanently. A photo offers better transparency and more accurate proof of delivery than a signature, which can be ambiguous and illegible. It can also help customers locate parcels left in a safe place more easily.

And at GFS, we are strong believers that visibility of delivery is the key to getting delivery right first time, every time.

That’s why we spend every day pro-actively tracking and monitoring parcels. Our Customer Care team actively look for delivery issues so they can solve them before they affect the customer, and our multi-carrier tracking portal GFS Seeker offers traceability of all parcels – even across 50+ carriers and 200+ countries.

Having accessibility and transparency of data really is what powers delivery accuracy and efficiency, no matter what happens.

Why not see how we ensure retailers have a delivery contingency plan – even during times of uncertainty and rapid change? Watch the video!

2021-02-08T15:48:03+00:00September 3rd, 2020|

Press Release: GFS Global Returns Pro

GFS levels the playing field with GFS Global Returns Pro

London, 17 August 2020: After reviewing the reverse logistics market, GFS has selected ZigZag’s cutting edge technology to launch their new returns solution, GFS Global Returns Pro. GFS powers delivery for fast-expanding B2B and B2C eCommerce retailers worldwide, providing multi-carrier services, technology and expertise to manage the entire logistical process from checkout to doorstep. GFS Global Returns Pro, specifically aimed at SMEs and larger online retailers, packages together the global technology platform with 200+ multi-carrier services, plus expertise from GFS, into a single solution. It gives customers a fast and easy way to request a return in less than a minute, and enables retailers to cut the cost of returns by up to 40%. The portal can also be deployed in just 1-2 days with a simple flat monthly fee.

Neil Cotty, CEO for GFS comments: “Until now, only the largest global retailers have had access to the tools and resources to master the returns challenge. GFS Global Returns Pro will level the playing field by offering small and larger retailers a fast and affordable solution to simplify returns and give customers a high-end returns experience without the high-end cost.”

GFS Global Returns Pro is launching at the perfect time. Online retailers continue to battle rising return rates of over 50% and cost the UK more than £60bn per year. Returns also cause a huge dent in the bottom line because stock becomes tied up and handling costs are high. Returns have also become a high priority for the consumer too. According to recent research by UPS, 79% of consumers check the returns policy before making a final purchase decision, leading to 1 in 2 purchases being abandoned at checkout because they did not like the retailer’s returns policy. In recent months, lockdown has caused a sharp shift from high street to online shopping as many are left with no option but to shop online – and as online spending grows, so does the problem of returns.

Neil Cotty, CEO for GFS continues: “This is a strategic development for us. The addition of Global Returns Pro to the GFS portfolio means that we can now offer an unrivalled global outbound and inbound solution that makes it both fast and simple for eCommerce businesses to expand internationally.”

Hundreds of online retailers rely on GFS to deliver over 30 million parcels every year and is the behind-the-scenes global delivery partner for a number of the world’s fastest-growing eCommerce brands.

Al Gerrie, Co-Founder and CEO, of ZigZag Global comments:

“GFS is a well-respected eCommerce provider for some of the most exciting retailers in the industry. ZigZag is delighted that GFS has decided to use our technology to power their new returns solution. Customers from a long list of promising retailers already using GFS for their outbound logistics, will now be able to take advantage of our hassle-free  returns portal for faster refunds, creating satisfied and loyal customers.”

About ZigZag Global

ZigZag Global is a SaaS platform helping retailers to manage returns globally.

The ZigZag platform connects retailers to a global network of 220 warehouses and more than 200 carrier services in over 130 countries – all from a single integration. ZigZag uses predictive analytics to understand the most cost-effective and energy-efficient route to work out if a retailer should hold and resell returned products in local markets or bring them back via consolidation.

ZigZag’s mission is to deliver the best technology and service to transform the returns experience globally. Our mission is to reduce the cost, waste and friction associated with returns, boost customer loyalty and make retailers more profitable and sustainable.

Contact ZigZag:  hello@zigzag.global – +44 203 286 8223

About GFS

As the pioneer of Enterprise Carrier Management (ECM), GFS has been behind the success of some of the fastest growing brands since 2001, providing unique and affordable shipping solutions that optimise delivery from checkout to doorstep. Managing over 30 million parcels a year, our history and presence makes us the trusted partner of hundreds of online retailers, and our continual innovation ensures we anticipate the needs of our customers and stay at the forefront of the industry.

Contact Bobbie Ttooulis: bobbie.ttooulis@gfsdeliver.com +44 (0)7342 885 886

2021-02-08T13:25:19+00:00August 17th, 2020|

Overcoming the Returns Challenge

It’s estimated that in 5-10 years, consumers will be shopping online more than they do in stores. This is probably not surprising, given that in 2019 the UK had more empty shops than ever before , while eCommerce continues to grow at around 20% each year – and this trend has only accelerated in recent months as lockdown left shoppers with no choice but to buy online.

But as eCommerce continues to flourish, so too does one of retail’s biggest bugbears – RETURNS.

There’s no getting around it, returns are massively important to consumers. In fact, 78% of all consumers look at the returns policy before making a purchase and 42% of shoppers have returned something in the last 6 months . And this makes sense, a good returns service gives customers the confidence to buy a product they haven’t physically seen, touched or tried on, and if consumers are unsure about a returns policy they’re unlikely to take a risk and will shop elsewhere.

But returns can have a huge impact on the bottom line, which is why it’s critical to balance the customer experience, with the cost and operational impact.

The operational challenge

Returns cost UK retailers a whopping £60bn a year, and when 35% of shoppers deliberately over-order, returns can seriously affect the bottom line .

The problem is that typically retailers have little visibility or control around what’s being returned, why, and when. Consumers can send back a return, and retailers don’t know what products will be returned, the condition they’ll be or the cost of delivery – until the return has already happened.

This makes it difficult to plan and manage the reverse supply chain, and retailers often end up playing ‘catch up’ with their returns. This means it can take time to get resaleable goods back in stock for other customers to buy, so retailers miss out on future sales.

These challenges around returns are amplified when it comes to international returns. Customs documentation, Duties & Taxes, as well as differences in local customer expectations and preferences, can make returns a very complex and expensive endeavour.

The customer experience challenge

Returns can have a direct impact on conversion rates and repeat purchases, especially as consumers now expect the same convenience with returns as they do with delivery, with next day and even same day delivery continuing to grow in popularity.

Whether it’s the returns policy on the website, or a previous returns experience, returns are a key deciding factor when a consumer is choosing where to shop.

What’s important to consumers when it comes to returns?

  • How long do they have to submit a return – how quickly do they have to decide?
  • The range of options on offer – are they convenient? Can they drop a parcel at their preferred store location or can they arrange a courier collection?
  • How much will it cost?
  • Can they exchange for a different size or colour?
  • How quickly will they receive a refund?
  • How do I know if my parcel has been received – what if it gets lost? Consumers say tracking and receipt of return is the most important aspect of the returns process .

Above all, returns need to be easy, convenient – and fast. Customers need peace of mind that they can easily return goods and get their money back quickly.

This is what will give them the confidence to buy, even if they’re not sure about a product, and this trust can convert a first-time customer into a loyal customer.

The international challenge

Returns are even more critical to your international customers – especially when buying online from overseas already feels like a bit of a risk. But the challenges around returns are magnified when it comes to cross-border logistics.

Every country has its own preferences and expectations when it comes to shopping online, delivery and returns – so it’s important to tailor your returns to each local market.

For example:

  • Germany has a real ‘returns culture’ – up to 70% of fashion purchases are returned
  • More than half of consumers in France choose to drop a return at a Drop Off location
  • Parcel lockers are more popular in China than any other nation
  • The Spanish and Chinese are most likely to abandon a cart if the returns policy is unsatisfactory
    (IMRG Returns Review 2020)

With cross-border returns, also comes the added challenge of Duties and Taxes. 68% of all consumers worldwide check to see if there will be any additional taxes to be paid . Using a DDP (Duty Paid) option is a way to remove this sales barrier, but this can be more time-consuming and costly for retailers – with many choosing to leave it up to the consumer to resolve themselves, which doesn’t make for a positive shopping experience.

Returns can no longer be an after-thought

Choice, flexibility, convenience, speed, visibility – this is what shoppers expect from a returns service, and this is mostly because this is what they get when shopping with a Tier 1 retailer. But businesses like these have huge budgets, sophisticated technology, robust infrastructures and access to an endless number of services – something that is out of reach for many growing businesses. It’s vital, therefore, that businesses find affordable solutions to deliver a returns solution that can compete and provide a flexible and seamless full-loop outbound and inbound shopping experience.

That’s why GFS is launching Global Returns Pro, the first choice for expanding eCommerce businesses wanting a fast and affordable solution to simplify global returns and give customers a high-end experience, without the high-end cost.

Click here to find out more and take advantage of our early-bird launch offer!

i – https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-49349703

ii – https://www.statista.com/statistics/288487/forecast-of-global-b2c-e-commerce-growth/

iii – GFS/IMRG Consumer Home Delivery Report 2019/20

iv – ZigZag 2020

v – ZigZag 2020

vi – GFS/IMRG Consumer Home Delivery Report 2019/20

vii – IMRG Returns Review 2020

2021-02-09T11:33:04+00:00July 2nd, 2020|

The New Normal: What impact will COVID-19 have on eCommerce and delivery?

As more businesses begin to re-open their doors, life is edging its way back to some kind of normal, but the reality is we don’t know what “normal” will look like in 1 month, 6 months or even 12 months’ time – what we do know is that businesses are likely to feel the impact of COVID-19 for quite some time.

It’s clear that eCommerce has experienced a surge in demand. As the country battened down the hatches back in March, consumer habits shifted dramatically, with 37% of us shopping online more than ever before*.

In fact, eCommerce sales soared to a massive 10-year high, as consumers were forced to do the majority of their shopping online for the first time ever.

How Did Retailers Cope?

The hike in demand put many retailers in a delicate situation, having to balance unplanned peak-level order volumes, with social distancing in the warehouse, as well as delays in the supply chain and carrier capacity issues. 

Many businesses either had to reduce staff numbers quickly or pause trading altogether. Even household names like Next and TK Maxx took the decision to completely cease selling online until they could guarantee the safety of their staff – a completely unprecedented move.

Even retailers that were able to continue “business as usual” were forced to advise delays of up to 10 days or more for delivery – timeframes that have really been unheard of in the UK this side of the 21st Century.

Some companies looked for inventive ways to continue to connect with customers and recreate the in-store shopping experience. John Lewis launched a ‘virtual services’ hub so that shoppers could book one-on-one video appointments with retail experts, who could help with setting up nurseries, interior design and personal styling. Curry’s PC World launched a video service so they can help online customers make informed choices when buying electronics. Retailers who didn’t sell online before also turned to delivering to keep their businesses afloat.

The businesses that have managed to maintain consistent service levels and sales, have been those that allowed for some flexibility to pivot their business model and adapt to change quickly.

What’s the outlook for eCommerce Post-COVID?

We saw shops open on 15th June and thousands of shoppers rushed back to the high street, with mile-long queues and waiting times of up to 2 hours. But let’s not jump to conclusions. While people may be quite happy queuing in sunshine at the moment – will they do the same in the rain? The likelihood is the novelty will wear off quickly!

While many jumped at the chance to get out and hit the high street, others are still more apprehensive. We also can’t forget that many people will be recovering financially from being on furlough and may be nervous to spend – May saw a slight dip in the rate of growth for eCommerce compared to April (96% vs 83%), perhaps down to the fact that shoppers stopped panic buying and became more cautious of their spending. But these are still massive numbers regardless.

eCommerce has been growing steadily for the last 3 years, hovering at around +20% YoY. The COVID crisis has simply accelerated the rate of growth ahead of time, a trend that we see continuing as consumer habits have shifted.

We will probably find that key verticals traditionally considered as instore purchases, such as food, flowers and wine, health and beauty, may find that shoppers continue to buy online which could result in a permanent shift of business model for sectors such as these.

And as retail continues to lean online, e-fulfilment will become a core focus, with many businesses re-prioritising the purpose of their store estates and delivery strategy – especially considering that the value and importance of delivery has now been brought front of mind.

As Andy Mulcahy, Strategy and Insight Director at IMRG said recently: “We are also starting to see a differential by retail tier, with mid-market losing out to budget retailers, a trend to watch as consumers seek value for money in uncertainty, however, on the other hand we are likely to see consumers looking for brand trust and quality. This can result in a squeeze in the mid-tier where appealing to both needs has been traditionally harder to balance. Retailers will need to listen to their customers, and find new ways to become increasingly transparent, flexible and innovative in order to navigate the rocky and uncertain road ahead.”

How Can Retailers Adapt For The Future?

Whatever happens, it’s clear that we are in a constant state of flux and uncertainty – making it difficult for businesses to plan and forecast as they typically would. And soon we’ll be facing PEAK and BREXIT. Logically the businesses that have the flexibility and agility to react fast, with a focus on contingency and cost control will be the ones most likely to not only survive, but thrive.

This is no different to how businesses should be looking at delivery. Delivery is one of the most important parts of the customer experience and multi-carrier delivery not only gives retailers the ability to switch carriers, but also strike the right balance between performance, service and cost. By expanding delivery, it makes it possible to offer customers wider choice of delivery and service consistency – which will especially be important in this competitive climate. While customers may have been more tolerant over the last few months – don’t be fooled, a good customer experience will always be a huge sales motivator.

At GFS, we give retailers flexibility and contingency by offering single access to the widest range of global multi-carrier services for delivery and returns with a seamless customer experience – no matter what happens.

Make sure you always have a Plan B – Watch this video to find out how!

Or contact us to see how GFS can help prepare your eCommerce business for every eventuality.

 

2021-02-09T15:32:00+00:00June 19th, 2020|
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