Webinar with IMRG: What impact will Coronavirus have on delivery?

Webinar with IMRG: What impact will Coronavirus have on delivery?

We joined IMRG in this webinar to look at their data and discuss the impact COVID-19 might have on delivery.

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2023-05-17T15:02:20+00:00April 22nd, 2020|

In the press: What can retailers do to improve their environmental image?

By Ben Sillitoe

I’ve seen a few comments and analysis pieces recently scoffing at retailers’ attempts to be more environmentally-friendly, and I feel lots of the criticism is a tad unfair.

Yes, of course we need to be mindful of so called ‘greenwashing’, and there’s a strong argument that caring for the environment we all live in should have been front and centre of businesses strategies from day one, but surely the now daily raft of green industry initiatives we’re hearing about is a good thing.

By our very existence and that of business, a carbon footprint is inevitable, making the meaning of true sustainability difficult to define, so the focus has to simply be on being better. Being better to slow down the damage we are doing to our planet, and being better at getting others to follow the cause.

From frozen food retailer Iceland’s ongoing efforts to “turn down the tap of plastic production” and its plastic bottle deposit return scheme, to Tesco’s promise to reduce 350 tonnes of plastic per year by eliminating multi-buy wrapping, there are plenty of examples of positive action being taken.

In fashion, where many big names have been hauled into Parliament to face an Environmental Audit Committee inquiry into fashion sustainability, there are encouraging moves being made. To name just two, H&M has taken a majority stake in Sellpy, a re-commerce platform that sells second-hand clothes, while Burberry said this week that it will be “entirely powered by electricity from renewable sources” by 2022 – moves that need to be applauded, if not taken as strategies that will save the planet by themselves.

As Alecxa Julia Cristobal, marketing content writer for electronic payment provider Asia Pay, says: “If you’re in the fashion industry, capitalising on sustainable clothing is now a trend.”

Top tips for being better

Thanks in large part to Sir David Attenborough and his Blue Planet BBC programme – not to mention the unseasonal extreme weather-related disasters we’re seeing around the world – the health of the environment is well and truly under the global spotlight. And shoppers are starting to take retailers’ environmental policies into account when making purchasing decisions.

Accenture research shows 83% of consumers across North America, Europe, and Asia believe it’s important or extremely important for companies to design products that are meant to be reused or recycled. And 72% said they’re currently buying more environmentally friendly products than they were five years ago.

Brendan Murray, content marketing manager at Akeneo, an open source product information management company, says: “Consumers increasingly want the brands they buy from to be good corporate citizens – even if they have to pay a bit more for the privilege.”

Appealing to the ethically conscious customer is going to take more than just labelling things “green”, though. As product provenance becomes more transparent, at the demand of shoppers, token eco-gestures are not enough – companies need to build being good into their very make-up.

As Mike Hayers, UK country manager at ShipStation, a shipping software company, remarks: “Going green has been a great way to elevate your brand’s image for close to two decades now.

“But while concerns grow more and more to the collective forefront, simply stating “we went green by packaging in recycled boxes” no longer cuts it.”

And Steve Tainton, head of sustainability and CSR at Wincanton, a logistics services provider, says: “The responsibility is on the retailer to be more transparent about their supply chain.

“If they want to attract ethical consumers, they need to be crystal-clear in demonstrating their ethical credentials and completely authentic in their data and position.”

Adrienne Burns, director of customer experience at Summit, a digital commerce agency, acknowledges that “making radical changes to an entire operation will be tricky and takes time”.

“However, I would suggest that retailers look at what customers expect to see when it comes to being environmentally and socially conscious and start there – whilst of course looking at how to make long lasting and forward-thinking changes,” she comments.

Burns also advises giving consumers choices, noting: “You don’t need to roll out everything at once but let consumers know what you have changed and give them the option to purchase more sustainably.”

Mike Richmond, chief commercial officer at Doddle, a parcel and returns collection service, challenges the idea that being green is about image, saying that “feels superficial”.

“Consumers can see the wood from the (carbon neutral) trees when it comes to ‘green-washing’ and conversely, they are proven to react immensely positively to retailers which heed their demands for ethical behaviour,” he states.

“Shoppers want to know that your product is produced and delivered in a way that is genuinely sustainable. And in the context of delivery, I think there’s a lot of catching up to do.”

And, of course, if consumers are so tuned into being green as the surveys and the anecdotal evidence suggests, it’s now up to retailers to effectively communicate what they are doing to meet those demands.

Sarah MacDonald, northern EMEA regional marketing manager at Magento, an eCommerce platform provider, advises retailers to design their websites to clearly state their green practices.

“Whether this is talking about recyclable packaging in the delivery/returns section, or highlighting what their clothes are made of in the product information – it’s now more important than ever to be upfront about being green,” she comments.

Marginal gains to be made in delivery

In the early days of eCommerce, some digital-only retailers, including grocer-cum-tech-company Ocado, touted their deliver-to-home services as a greener option than consumers taking their own cars to the supermarket. There may be some truth in that, there may not – but as eCommerce has grown in popularity and more and more trucks and vans from multiple retailers hit the road, the argument has been watered down.

It means there are several stages of the delivery and supply chain process that retailers could focus on to make marginal gains that, when combined, add up to huge differences in terms of environmental friendliness.

Daniel Ennor, Chief Commercial Officer at GFS, a global delivery technology company, notes:

“By consolidating the number of pickups and collections, companies can improve efficiency, and maximise delivery performance.”

Meanwhile, Joe Farrell, vice president of international operations at PFS, a fulfilment services provider, says attention to product packaging is one of the most visible ways retailers can improve their supply chain sustainability.

“Retailers only stand to gain when they embrace sustainable packaging,” he remarks, adding reducing the amount of waste consumers themselves have to dispose of upon receipt of products is a key way of improving a business’s reputation.

Emily Cotterill, head of sustainability at Rebound, a returns platform, agrees packaging is important, but argues that shoppers are increasingly “becoming mindful of how green the delivery and returns options are”.

“In an Advanced Supply Chain Group returns white paper published this month, 43% of respondents said that they would be more likely to purchase from a retailer if they offered a green returns service, but only if it was free,” she notes.

“Interestingly, this percentage drops to 23% if the customer had to pay. Therefore, retailers must consider what resonates most with their customer base, making their proposition appealing to ethically conscious consumers, whilst also economically viable.”

Matthew Robinson, Co-CEO at NetDespatch, a shipping and parcel data management platform for carriers, acknowledges retailers and carriers alike are “feeling the pressure to have sustainable advocacy in their business plan”.

But, judging by consumer trends, there is no use battling against the tide. Soon enough, being green will be a prerequisite, and that means there is effectively no option but to get better at finding environmentally-friendly ways of retailing.

“As the new generation comes of age, their preferences and purchasing power will start to have a big impact on business,” Robinson says.

“Given the rocketing profile of environmental issues, retail businesses need to respond or risk becoming out of touch with the new generation of customers.”

Out of touch and out of business, perhaps?


Although the industry is not short of useful advice, as highlighted by the above comments from IMRG members, it is my view that the sector needs more eco warriors. In the past we’ve had The Body Shop founder, Anita Roddick, and in the years since Lush co-founder Mark Constantine has been a baton carrier for the sustainability cause.

Today, Iceland’s managing director, Richard Walker, is an audible voice in the battle to prevent ocean plastic pollution, lobbying the government to help businesses better deal with the plastic mountain within retail. There are others, of course, but we need additional figureheads to adopt more activist attitudes, and to take their concerns – and their practical ideas – to the top.

Consumers will appreciate it and, judging by the millions who have taken to the streets around the globe to protest about the climate crisis in recent months, they’ll be standing right behind them – and all that has the potential to influence significant change.

This article was originally posted on imrg.org on 13th February 2020 – find the article here.

2023-05-10T12:10:34+00:00April 14th, 2020|

In the press: Industry reacts to UK customs check plans

Industry reacts to UK customs check plans

The UK government has confirmed it will introduce import controls on EU goods coming over the border at the end of this year. The announcement confirms what was the widely expected result of the government’s plan to exit the EU’s customs union and single market and strike trade deals.

We look at how retail and logistics trade bodies responded to the news.

Freight Transport Association

Elizabeth de Jong, FTA’s UK Policy Director said: “Today’s announcements about the UK’s future relationship with Europe provide more much-needed clarity for logistics operators, and his assertion that there will be no extension to the transition period gives businesses a finite deadline to which to work.  The news of funding to help industry prepare for operation outside the EU is certainly welcome, whatever the outcome of the negotiations.

“Mr Gove put to rest Sajid Javid’s assertion that industry had plenty of time to prepare.  It is encouraging for industry that he said he does not underestimate what needs to be done and that he has his civil servants focussed on capturing and providing industry with the details we need, we hope within the timeframes we need to prepare.

“As representatives of the logistics industry, we are naturally disappointed that the promise of frictionless trade has been replaced with a  promise that trade will be as seamless as possible but not until 2025, with a more realistic but costly “make do and mend” approach to be employed until then.  Industry will need the support of government during this period to Keep Britain Trading effectively.”

British Retail Consortium

Andrew Opie, Director of Food & Sustainability at the British Retail Consortium, said: “Government will need to move fast if it intends to provide the necessary infrastructure to carry out full border controls on imported goods from January 2021.Without the necessary infrastructure up and running from day one, consumers in the UK will see significant disruption, particularly in the availability of fresh fruit and vegetables.

“The Government needs to establish import and export processes along with necessary infrastructure capable of conducting checks on rules of origin, SPS, VAT and more1. Staffwill need to be hired and trained to carry out these checks on the thousands of lorries that enter the UK every day. IT systems must be adapted and tested. Holding facilities for lorries, particularly at Dover and Folkestone, will need to be constructed. It is not enough to announce checks will take place, we must see plans now as to how this will be possible in practice, or it will be consumers who suffer on 1st January 2021.”

Road Haulage Association

In a letter to transport secretary Grant Shapps MP, RHA chief executive called for more information from government to allow businesses to prepare in time for the deadline.

“We need HMRC to clearly define the process so that we can understand how many customs agents will be required to support traders and hauliers.”

He criticised the lack of a firm deadline for when the customs processes would be published and warned that there could be a shortfall of customs agents.


Bobbie Ttooulis, Executive Director at Global Freight Solutions, said:

“Retailers can no longer ignore the impact that Brexit has on their businesses, especially as border control changes the impact on customer delivery. It’s crucial that they forecast for changes to border procedures, documentation, duties, taxes and pressures that will impact their supply chains.

“While Brexit has been initiated, uncertainty still hangs over trade. So, the safest best is to prepare for tough border controls. Long delays at the ports are going to be part and parcel for this new Brexit reality. If your business ships into the EU, and in the event of a backlog at the Channel tunnel for instance, partners will need to be able to divert product from the road to the air to avoid delays to the end customer. Adopting a paperless clearance system will also help minimise delays from reading handwritten documents, plus ensuring you have the right European Union Registration and Identification Number. An 8 or 10-digit HS code (Harmonised Commodity Description and Coding System) will also need to be supplied to support efficient customs clearance and enable accurate duty and tax calculations.

“Delays in the supply chain, caused by custom checks will lead to retailers being forced to hold more stock in their supply chain than they’re used to. This will have a direct financial impact on those businesses, who’ll either need to expand storage capabilities or hire more staff to cope with the increased volume of stock. Ultimately, communication and transparency will be key. Transparency of the resulting duties and tax cost incurred to customers at the checkout, as well as communication at each stage of the delivery journey, will minimise disruptions and keep customers on side.”

This article was originally posted on edelivery.net on 12th February 2020 – find the article here.

2023-05-10T12:07:23+00:00February 13th, 2020|

In the press: Brexit barriers – is your business ready?

Brexit barriers – is your business ready?

By Dan Ennor – CCO at GFS

After a prolonged period of uncertainty, Brexit has happened. And retailers need to be prepared for the changes this will bring. A strong Brexit strategy for retailers all boils down to preparation. However, many businesses are still unsure how Brexit will impact them and the changes they’ll have to make as a result. Which means they need to act fast. But, how can companies plan for what they don’t know?

1. Documentation and procedure

I have no doubt Brexit will surely see the end of free trade movement in the EU for the UK, and when that significant change occurs, alterations to paperwork and procedures will follow. Reforms to trading will be a blow to unprepared retailers and their delivery companies, both practically and within documentation. Post-Brexit legislation will mean they need to update their processes in order to be compliant depending on the EU country they’re delivering to. With that in mind, retailers need to ensure the delivery companies they work with go paperless with their admin to prevent costly clerical errors.

Following the introduction of new laws and regulations, there will be plenty of red tape, and storing this information on paper will create a logistical nightmare for organisation and compliance. By adopting a paperless clearance system, expensive delays caused by misreading handwritten customs documentation are avoided. Submitting documents electronically to customs also eliminates the need to print and manually attach them to shipments, saving paper, time and hassle.

It’s also important for retailers to take note of some of the extra information they’ll need to provide at customs, post-Brexit. For example, customers will need to provide a European Union Registration and Identification Number in order to ship to the EU versus just a UK VAT number. And this will need to be checked and enforced to prevent failed deliveries. An 8 or 10-digit HS code will also need to be supplied to support efficient customs clearance and enable accurate duty and tax calculations are added for all products.

2. Delays to the supply chain

Going forward, when trading with EU nations, retailers will notice additional border checks, and major delays to their supply chain. This is something that needs to be built into every delivery company’s forecasting going forward.

Above all, communication is key. Operating transparently will ensure your consumers receive order notifications, keeping them fully informed throughout the process. This will become increasingly important during the early stages of Brexit, when the concept is new to everyone. Retailers will need their delivery providers to keep them abreast of how long a delivery’s going to take in real-time, so they can set expectations with shoppers accordingly and ensure customer satisfaction doesn’t suffer. Further to that point, eCommerce businesses will need to adapt their delivery promises on their website, as opposed to simply updating customers via SMS. This needs to be calculated accurately so retailers aren’t made to seem dishonest or ill-informed.

Furthermore, delays in the supply chain, caused by custom checks, will lead to retailers being forced to hold more stock in their supply chain than they’re used to. This will have a direct financial impact on those businesses, who’ll either need to expand storage capabilities or hire more staff to cope with the increased volume of stock.

3. Transparent duties & taxes

The most obvious, and perhaps well-documented barrier that Brexit will impose on delivery companies and retailers, is the duties and tax added to product prices depending on the shipping destination. With extra costs now attached to trade goods between EU countries, the overall cost of delivery will go up, and it’s on retailers and their delivery provider of choice to consider who’ll pay that extra fee.

With the cost of delivery in the EU rising, delivery companies will likely need to reflect that in their price, so the added cost doesn’t fall to them. That means that duties and taxes will likely be passed onto retailers, and retailers will inevitably be forced to pass that fee to customers, rather than absorbing it themselves. What will be important in the infancy of new duties and taxes for EU trading, is transparency across the board while everyone gets used to the transition.

Most importantly, eCommerce retailers will need to communicate these new duties and taxes to consumers at the point of checkout so they’re aware of the charge prior to, and at purchase. Unexpected fees will simply lead to cart abandonment worsening or goods being refused at the border. In the grand scheme of things, duties and taxes will make UK retailers less competitive versus those based in the EU, and that will directly impact on export revenues. Something for delivery companies to be wary of as they plan ahead.

The details of what Brexit looks like are still being decided upon. But that doesn’t mean that retailers should sit idle. There are steps brands can take to prepare for the impact of Brexit. What should be abundantly clear is that the choice of delivery provider for retailers, will impact their strategy, and ultimately their success. We know for certain that trading in the EU will change, and this will directly hit retailers’ delivery process. However, only by retailers and their delivery providers being aware and acting on these changes before they hit, can they best prepare their businesses to minimise disruption.

This article was originally posted on bdaily.co.uk on 6th February 2020 – find the article here.

2023-05-10T12:06:55+00:00February 7th, 2020|

Webinar with Tamebay: Delivery in a post-Brexit world

Webinar with Tamebay: Delivery in a post-Brexit world

We teamed up with Tamebay in this webinar to inform retailers of our insights into post-Brexit delivery.

If you are having trouble viewing the video, please allow all browser cookies or watch on YouTube


Selling to the EU just got easier and cheaper…

Contact us – we’re here to help!

2023-05-17T14:56:21+00:00January 21st, 2020|

How Will Sustainability Affect Ecommerce Delivery?

When we look at the future for delivery and logistics, there is a lot of buzz around AI, automation and technological innovation. However, one subject that is increasingly important for businesses and consumers is the environment. With all the haulage and miles that go into the delivery businesses, how will these companies tackle sustainability?

Eco-Friendly Transport

One of the most obvious ways that delivery companies will look to tackle their carbon footprint is through vehicles. Haulage lorries are far behind cars in terms of innovation in electric motors, although as more cars become electric, we are likely to see more vans and lorries become electric too. Companies are also looking at switching from diesel lorries to help reduce emissions. Robot and drone deliveries are still a futuristic prospect, but another innovation that will help companies go green.

Reducing Delivery Failures

Ordering products online always raises questions around the environmental impact. However, some of the major costs and carbon outputs for delivery companies come in the last few miles of the delivery journey. When there is a failed delivery, it sets of a chain of events that involves extra miles being driven to try and re-deliver, or for the consumer to pick it up from another location. Cutting down on failed first time deliveries is a key way to reduce carbon footprint. It might seem like a hard thing to achieve, but the best way to do this is by giving customers more delivery options such as nominated day, timed delivery and click and collect. This gives customers more control over when they can get the delivery, which cuts down on failed deliveries and those extra miles.

Maximising Performance Of Your Carrier

Many eCommerce companies work with multiple carriers to get the best service for their customers. As well as being complicated and time-consuming, this means more collections, more emissions and more delivery vehicles on the already-clogged-up roads. By reducing the amount of pickups, companies can improve efficiency, and maximise delivery performance. Working with GFS enables you to simplify multi-carrier shipping with a single collection service, so you can make your deliveries greener.

Environmental impact is more important for customers, businesses and governments as global warming becomes a pressing issue. However, there are ways that delivery companies and eCommerce businesses can help reduce their own environmental footprint. Plus, with 43% of UK shoppers saying that they are more likely to shop with a retailer if they offer a greater range of sustainable delivery options, its not just about the environment, but also about retaining your customers and staying ahead.

2023-09-01T14:27:52+00:00August 14th, 2019|

How To Find The Best eCommerce Delivery Partner For Your Business

Finding the right delivery partner is key for your business. It requires trust that your customer will receive the experience they expect. Your delivery partner should act as an extension on your business and represent your brand, which means delivery performance is crucial. So what do you need to consider?


Make sure the partner you choose is readily available for you. Once you are ready to send the product, you want them to be able to pick it up in an efficient and timely manner. It sounds simple, but larger companies service multiple businesses so you want to make sure your parcels are just as important to your supplier as they are to you.

Parcel Tracking

Communication is key. You need to know where your shipments are and whether they have been delivered in time. A partner that offers comprehensive and detailed tracking capabilities is valuable for your piece of mind, and your customer service. Make sure you have access to robust online tracking so that both you and your customers know exactly when a package will be delivered on a specific day.

eCommerce Technology

As well as tracking, having updated and useful technology helps you to optimise your despatch processes and boost efficiencies. Delivery and logistics is teeming with innovative technology, so make sure your delivery partner offers more than basic tracking and is at the forefront of industry technology. Consider how the technology can serve your specific needs and scale with you as your business grows.


Low costs don’t always offer the best value and could mean you are cutting down on other value-added services such as tracking, customer service, communications, and delivery performance. Having a quality delivery service will give your customers a better experience which can lead to overall growth. It’s important your delivery partner can provide you with the services, tools and expertise to sustain this continued business growth.

Customer Service

The importance of customer service cannot be understated. 52% of customers have made an additional purchase after getting a positive customer service experience and 70% have made a choice to support a company who has great customer service. Having good customer service for both you as a company when you need to deal with them and for your customers can have a huge affect on your business.

Additional Services

Make sure you get more from delivery than just sending a parcel from A to B. You could have a full range of additional services including carrier management, labelling, warehouse automation, customer care and reporting. It may mean that you can outsource certain aspects to take the pressure off your business and help you focus on growth.

GFS offer a variety of services, including connecting up your different sales channels, access to different couriers, a wider variety of delivery options, track and trace, label production, and innovative technology to make things smooth and easy. Contact us to talk about your delivery needs today.

2023-09-01T14:29:00+00:00July 18th, 2019|

Guide to Duties and Taxes when Expanding Your Business Internationally

Selling internationally to grow your business can feel daunting. As well as handling cross-border delivery, you also have the complicated task of applying the correct duties and taxes. Duties and Taxes are a common logistical concern for businesses with sellers saying it’s their biggest barrier to international growth*.

What are Duties and Taxes?

Sales Taxes are financial obligations paid to the government on sales, and duties are a tax payable to the government on goods and financial transactions. Both of these hike up the price of buying from a seller in another country, but are there to protect companies from foreign competitors and enable the government to control the flow of certain products in and out of the country.

Taxes vary from country to country with different thresholds for when taxes apply to imported items. It’s best to research the tax thresholds for each country you plan to ship to and be able to let your customers know.

How are Duties and Taxes Calculated?

Duties and Taxes are calculated by multiplying the taxable value of the shipment and the tax and duty percentage of the country you are shipping to. Duty percentages do vary depending on the category of goods and taxable value and can change from country to country depending on the valuation method.

Different ways to pay – DDU vs DDP

Duties are taxes are a legal obligation for your buyers. There are two ways they can be paid – DDU and DDP.

DDU shipments are paid on delivery, with customers being contacted by customs when their parcel arrives to settle any charges. This option means that you need to clearly communicate to your customers that the duty will apply to their shipment. Failure to effectively communicate this could lead to an unexpected surprise for customers on delivery, which can reflect badly on your brand.

DDP shipments mean that the sender is responsible for paying the duties. This usually means that they are included in the existing price or added at checkout. This option might make products appear more expensive upfront, but does mean that your customer won’t be contacted for any additional fees and the shipment will be delivered easily.

Communication is Key

Communicating to your customers about Duties and Taxes is important. To boost the customer experience and secure repeat purchases, you need to make sure customers know how and when they will be paying duties and taxes throughout the delivery journey. This should be included on product pages, at the checkout, in your shipping policy and your FAQs. If this is left unclear, you risk cart abandonment, low customer satisfaction, refused deliveries, and more time spent on inbound customer queries.

Making Duties and Taxes Easier

In the modern age, there is more technology available to help online sellers deliver a seamless experience for customers whilst also making their own processes easier. This is also true when it comes to the complicated issue of calculating Duties and Taxes. We have now added a Duties and Taxes calculator to our GFS Checkout software. This provides a simple plugin that presents an array of different delivery options, and calculates the full delivery cost, making cross-border delivery easier than ever! Plus, you can decide if you want to combine Duties and Taxes with the cost of the order or let the customer choose whether they pay now or on delivery.

Find out more by watching our video, or sign up for a demo!

*GFS and Tamebay international survey 100+ decision makers, eCommerce businesses with £1m-£50m turnover– September 2018.
2020-11-09T16:00:25+00:00May 20th, 2019|

Webinar with IMRG: Building a Checklist to cover all Brexit scenarios

Webinar with IMRG: Building a Checklist to cover all Brexit scenarios

‘A horrible ending or an unending horror’ – maybe it doesn’t have to be either…

All conceivable Brexit options remain on the table. Whatever the outcome of our intended departure though, there is a lack of clarity on the impact on trading with the EU – but what is certain is that borderless trade with the EU is likely to come to an end.

Join IMRG and GFS in a follow up to our recent Data Breakfast debate, as we consider what contingencies you can be putting in place to protect existing EU revenues by ensuring continuity of trade as well as open the gateway to international eCommerce growth – at the same time.

What will I learn?

This webinar focusses on the key areas you should be considering right now to end uncertainty and build your internal checklist for turning the major changes coming for UK businesses into an opportunity for international expansion:

  • Required systems changes for order fulfilment
  • Steps to protect the customer service promise and your brand
  • Continuity of delivery and returns performance
  • Setting the groundwork for future international expansion


Selling to the EU just got easier and cheaper…

Contact us – we’re here to help!

2023-05-17T14:55:46+00:00May 9th, 2019|

In the press: GFS empowers hampers.com’s delivery infrastructure during peak shopping season

Global Freight Solutions empowers hampers.com’s delivery infrastructure during peak shopping season

Following a two-year partnership with Global Freight Solutions (GFS), hampers.com – one of the UK’s longest established and biggest hamper companies – has reported a parcel volume increase of 20 percent year-on-year. As a result, the two businesses have signed a deal to extend their relationship by a further two years in a contract win worth over £1 million.

The hike in parcel volume figures came about as a direct result of GFS’ multi-carrier parcel services, enabling hampers.com to increase the delivery options available to customers worldwide, and the integration of GFS Selector, which has greatly streamlined order fulfilment. The timing of the contract will also strategically gear the online retailer up for forthcoming seasonal peak periods.

In December 2017, hampers.com recorded strong sales revenue figures for the peak holiday period, which saw GFS successfully ship over 50,000 parcels for the online retailer. This was one of the key motivations for extending their partnership. However, experts have estimated that the timing of peak consumer shopping periods is shifting. A recent Deloitte report stated that European shoppers are starting their Christmas shopping earlier and earlier, peaking in November last year. Meaning the pressure is mounting for online retailers to future-proof delivery functions against potential disruptive threats like poor weather conditions, as well as having the flexibility to manage and switch between carriers at the flick of a button, which GFS Selector allows for.

Freed up to deliver more

Ian Longworth, CEO, hampers.com: “My only regret after experiencing our first peak with GFS was that we had not done this 10 years earlier. Before GFS, we tried to manage logistics in-house –spending time on keeping track of parcel deliveries and collections across multiple carriers – which ended up being a real struggle. Now we work exclusively with GFS. This means one relationship, one collection service, one point of resolution if there’s a query, and one invoice to keep track of. As partners, we trust that GFS can take care of the delivery side of things, which frees us up to put all our efforts into sales and marketing for a bumper holiday season.”

In addition to GFS Selector, hampers.com is using GFS Manager to proactively track and manage parcel deliveries to ensure they get to where they need to. With the added support of GFS Logistics, they’re able to provide additional collection services during peak times to ensure timely despatch and subsequent delivery.

Stephen Deverson, sales director, GFS: “We’re very proud that hampers.com has entrusted GFS for outsourcing their delivery. This is just one of many examples of the trusted relationship we have built with our customers. Our expertise assures customers like hampers.com that when it comes to carrier management and delivery capabilities, particularly at critical peak time, GFS is there to support their business.”

This article was originally posted on retailtimes.co.uk on 4th October 2018 – find the article here.

2023-05-17T10:14:59+00:00October 8th, 2018|

How GFS can help you defeat delivery hurdles during peak

In the run up to peak trading, many online retailers have their sights set on sales volumes but this should not come at the cost of consumers’ needs. To win and retain a customer you need to think about the customer experience as a whole; from first click to delivery at the door to returns. This means that shipping should be as much of a priority as stock availability and website capability.

IMRG’s latest industry report calculates the overall cost of delivery delays: redeliveries, failed deliveries and loss of business from disappointed customers, is a staggering £436,548,044 a year. Resource heavy despatch operations or first time delivery issues are amplified when peak volume hits, so it’s time to overcome logistical hurdles and use delivery to your advantage.

Manage customer expectations

Delivery options do influence a customer’s decision to buy and lack of choice to meet customer expectations is regularly cited as the main reason for cart abandonment. Sales tend to reach over the £billion mark over Black Friday weekend, so to take advantage of opportunities like these it is paramount to tell your customers at the checkout when they can expect their delivery.

Present your delivery options in a way that recognises the needs of the customer and, most importantly, what you can fulfil. With the GFS Checkout plugin, you can give consumers the power to choose how and when they receive their order with delivery services tailored to their specific address.

Getting orders out the door quickly

Despatch should be quick and easy, and selling on lots of different channels should not hold you back. GFS has integrations with leading ecommerce platforms and can produce shipping labels for over 1000 different carrier services. Specialist shipping tool GFS Selector can automate despatch across multiple sales channels, eliminating manual tasks to save you time while improving shipping accuracy and efficiency.

Service mix and mitigate your risk

One size doesn’t fit all and there’s a diverse range of services to suit different consumer needs. Getting this right will delight your customer while boosting performance and cost effectiveness for you. GFS can create the best carrier and service mix for you with access to a full spectrum of delivery services, including international services, click + collect or lockers – with warehouse automation to get the perfect match every time.

According to IMRG, the last two months of the year account for 25% of all parcels volumes in the UK so spreading the risk with multiple carriers can give you a safety net in the event you need to quickly switch. Managing many carriers in-house can become overwhelming in busy periods when resources are tight. GFS is your one point of contact for all parcel enquiries no matter which carrier you sent the parcel with.

Control and visibility – overcome the hidden costs of delivery enquiries

Customer experience not only impacts the likelihood of a sale but the chances of repeat purchase. Feefo, the online customer review experts, states that 95% of customers will return if a complaint is dealt with quickly and efficiently. Handling the enquiry comes with a cost, IMRG have calculated that the average cost per enquiry is £6.10. Factoring this cost into your operation majorly affects your margin but what if you could avoid the complaint in the first place by managing customer expectations around delivery.

GFS’ team of parcel trackers, monitor your shipments to identify possible delays, taking preventative actions to reduce delivery issues and increase customer satisfaction. When this is combined with delivery notifications, the customers are kept in the loop and the chances of delivery failure are greatly reduced.

Peak is a rollercoaster; it can be exhilarating seeing the orders fly in but also stressful as operational capacity reaches the point of exhaustion. You need a partner you can give you the right support and knowledge to defeat your delivery hurdles. GFS, the delivery experts, will help you get the most from peak without breaking a sweat.

2020-11-09T16:16:21+00:00March 15th, 2018|
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