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Webinar Replay: EU-Phoria

Webinar: EU-Phoria: Breaking Barriers for Fast & Foolproof EU Shipping with IOSS

In the UK-EU trade landscape, Import One-Stop Shop (IOSS) can revolutionise cross-border logistics for UK retailers in looking for faster, easier cross-border shipping to the EU.

Join us for an insightful webinar that guides you through practical steps to eliminate VAT and customs compliance barriers for faster-than-ever, friction-free eCommerce delivery and returns to the EU.

Our experts from GFS and SimplyVAT.com share the formula that enables you to achieve quick processing, faster delivery times, enhanced customer satisfaction AND powers you with the confidence of hassle-free customs and VAT compliance.

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

Download the IOSS Presentation Pack from the webinar

Managed Multi-carrier Services

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2024-06-03T07:46:35+00:00April 24th, 2024|

Coffee Conversations with GFS – Video

Coffee Conversations with GFS

Part 1: Look Back at Peak 2023

Part 2: Outlook for eCommerce 2024

Part 3: Crystal Ball View of 2024 eCommerce Megatrends

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

Parts 1 & 2: Look back at Peak 2023 and Outlook for eCommerce 2024

Part 3: Crystal Ball View of 2024 eCommerce Megatrends

Managed Multi-carrier Services

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2024-02-06T10:03:50+00:00January 31st, 2024|

Peak Bulletin 2023: Issue 5

Issue #5

Your VIP Pass to the Season’s Pulse in eCommerce Delivery

This Peak, we’re behind the scenes, bringing you unparalleled industry insights. As an eCommerce or Logistics decision-maker, this is your quick coffee shot of just everything you need to know in the industry during this crunch period.

The Peak Bulletin puts together unique insights on carrier updates, industry happenings and parcel volumes based on GFS proprietary data.

Stay ahead of the game with unmatched, to-the-point carrier and industry coverage.

INSIDER INSIGHT

GFS data perspective on parcel volumes and delivery performance across the industry

VOLUMES: PUMPED UP OR TONED DOWN?

Data on parcel volumes — are numbers up to or above expectations and industry forecasts?

  • The countdown to Christmas is nearly complete; Peak 2023 has seen robust parcel volumes in a flatter and more sustained fashion.

  • Volume in Week 50 saw further growth versus Week 49 and gave a clear indication that consumers are still looking for last-minute deals with the potential that parcel volumes will have one final flurry of last-minute orders before Christmas.

RETAIL ROUND-UP

The “mood” of retail shopping this week and how it’s driving performance metrics across product categories

  • Volume in the Fashion sector increased again in the week with several retailers starting their seasonal sales.
  • Gifting had seen a slower-than-expected start to Peak, however, volume has grown strongly as the Peak period has progressed.

CARRIER WATCH

The pressure is ON for parcel deliveries — how are carriers faring in the race to the customer’s doorstep?

  • The majority of carriers will be delivering on Saturday, 23rd December and Sunday, 24th December to fully clear out their networks and deliver as many parcels as possible pre-Christmas.

  • As has been the trend in previous years, we expect a transition from 2-day services to Next Day throughout this week as retailers want to remove any risk of a potential delay impacting delivery.

  • Overall the very strong delivery performance we have seen throughout Peak 2023 has continued throughout the last week.

RETAILER TIP

Keys to Successful Retailing during Peak with CRM, Loyalty and Personalisation Consultant, Gianfranco Cuzziol

Peak is still ongoing but you should already be thinking about next year! This is particularly true in the world of data and personalisation. Upon reflection did you have the data you needed to truly personalise the offers and experiences you presented to your customer during Peak this year?

If you feel that you could go further next year then think about:

  1. What new first or zero-party data you have collected this year that can be used over the next 12 months? How could you use it to enhance your customer experience?
  2. What were you not able to do this year that would like to next Peak? Did you need more data to inform recommendations? Do you know about your customers’ preferred delivery or payment options? If not, start collecting this information so you are ready next time.
  3. Having thought about what the use cases are and the data you need, think about if you have the right technology in place to deliver that enhanced experience.

Gianfranco Cuzziol
CRM, Loyalty and Personalisation Consultant

Gianfranco has over 20 years’ experience in CRM, Loyalty and Personalisation. Most recently he led CRM and Personalisation for Natura & Co working with the four iconic brands of Aesop, Avon, Natura and The Body Shop. Prior to transitioning to a Group role, he was at Aesop where he was responsible for Global CRM including Recognition and Replenishment. He transformed the brand’s capabilities in how they directly engage with customers across their markets and regions. Gianfranco has spent most of his career agency-side, working with brands as diverse as BMW, Adidas, BT, Disney and easyjet to name but a few. He now shares his experience as an advisor, consultant, keynote speaker and author. With a first degree in Astrophysics, he enjoys explaining that engaging with customers in a relevant way need not be rocket science!

SIT TIGHT AND WATCH

Initial observations from Peak 2023

  • On reflection, the shape and phasing of Peak this year has not just helped the pick & pack process for retailers, it has also aided the sort and delivery capabilities of carriers.
  • Overall, the very strong delivery performance we have seen throughout Peak 2023 has continued throughout the last week – it is expected that 2023 will set a new benchmark in performance for Peak in future years.

GFS Multi-Carrier Management

With GFS Managed Multi-Carrier Services, you can simplify multi-carrier shipping and elevate your customers’ experience effortlessly!

Gain access to

Services

worldwide destinations

Returns drop-off points

Click & Collect locations

all in one place.

Whether you need international eCommerce solutions, sustainable shipping, or 3PL delivery options, we’ve got you covered. We see delivery differently, providing you with unmatched flexibility without the hassle of multiple carrier contracts. With GFS, you’ll unlock easy access to essential tools, reduced operational costs, and the agility to safeguard your business during eCommerce Peak season.

2023-12-19T13:39:58+00:00December 19th, 2023|

Peak Bulletin 2023: Issue 4

Issue #4

Your VIP Pass to the Season’s Pulse in eCommerce Delivery

This Peak, we’re behind the scenes, bringing you unparalleled industry insights. As an eCommerce or Logistics decision-maker, this is your quick coffee shot of just everything you need to know in the industry during this crunch period.

The Peak Bulletin puts together unique insights on carrier updates, industry happenings and parcel volumes based on GFS proprietary data and expert commentary from independent retail market data insight leader Retail Economics.

Stay ahead of the game with unmatched, to-the-point carrier and industry coverage.

INSIDER INSIGHT

GFS data perspective on parcel volumes and delivery performance across the industry

VOLUMES: PUMPED UP OR TONED DOWN?

Data on parcel volumes — are numbers up to or above expectations and industry forecasts?

  • Volume in week 49 was in line with expectations; a number of customers had issued revised forecasts to reflect trading conditions.
  • We saw a slight calming in volumes from fashion retailers as they concluded successful Black Friday promotions.
  • The indication is that the volume will increase again in the run-up to Christmas as Seasonal sales are launched.

CARRIER WATCH

The pressure is ON for parcel deliveries — how are carriers faring in the race to the customer’s doorstep?

  • From a carrier perspective, Peak this year continues to be Calm, Controlled and Coordinated. It’s important to highlight that this has been achieved through considerable investment and months of planning to provide such a strong delivery experience.
  • Service performance has recovered strongly following disruption last week from snow in the North East and Cumbria, and weather delays impacting ferry crossings to Northern Ireland, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.
  • Carriers are advising that they are now successfully through their Peak volume days and weeks, however, there is no complacency and the focus is on maintaining performance for the remaining weeks of Peak.

PEAK PANORAMA

Industry Commentary in Association with Retail Economics

This week we focus on Peak and Christmas Updates from the Retail world

  • Fenwick was named the official luxury retail store partner for Newcastle United Football Club, seeing the department store takeover the club’s The Rooftops bar.
  • Marks and Spencer announced 400 of its stores will be open from 6am to 10pm between 18 and 22 December to make it easier for customers to shop at a convenient time.
  • Lidl GB launched a Christmas jumper rental service for customers, with profits going to the NSPCC. Shoppers can use the fashion rental app By Rotation to hire a jumper for £2 a day until 31 December.
  • Sainsbury’s and Just Eat Takeaway.com teamed up to trial the first ever Christmas Picky Bits delivery store in London, open between 8 and 10 December.
  • Depop is set to open a raft of pop-up stores in partnership with Sook in high-profile retail locations ahead of Christmas as part of a programme that will last six months.
  • John Lewis & Partners opened its first pre-loved luxury fashion pop-up at Peter Jones on Sloane Square and will run until 31 January.
Richard Lim

Richard Lim
CEO, Retail Economics

Retail Economics

Richard is Chief Executive Officer of Retail Economics, an independent economics research consultancy focused on the consumer and retail industry. He also sits on the Strategic Advisory Board at the University of East Anglia’s School of Economics, ranked in the top 10 departments in Economics in the UK. Previously, Richard held the position of Chief Economist at the British Retail Consortium before heading up the Retail Insight and Analytics team. Richard was voted as a Top Ten Voice for Linked for sharing his insights on the retail industry, has been recognised as a top retail influencer by RETHINK RETAIL in 2023 and also appeared in the final of The Apprentice as one of Lord Sugar’s advisors.

RETAILER TIP

Keys to Successful Retailing during Peak with CRM, Loyalty and Personalisation Consultant, Gianfranco Cuzziol

Amid the battle for customer spend during Peak you’ve gained a cohort of new customers. Success! Potentially the acquisition costs are higher than usual what with extra media spend, discounts and a higher return rate than normal.

  • Make the most of these new customers to ensure a healthy-looking Customer Lifetime Value by making the most of the first few days and weeks of the new relationship.
  • Post-purchase communications need to ensure your customers get the most from their products.
  • Your loyalty or rewards programme should be introduced, and its benefits highlighted.
  • Be mindful of the next promotional message you send. It’s not about what you want to sell. It’s about what the customer wants to buy.

Gianfranco Cuzziol
CRM, Loyalty and Personalisation Consultant

Gianfranco has over 20 years’ experience in CRM, Loyalty and Personalisation. Most recently he led CRM and Personalisation for Natura & Co working with the four iconic brands of Aesop, Avon, Natura and The Body Shop. Prior to transitioning to a Group role, he was at Aesop where he was responsible for Global CRM including Recognition and Replenishment. He transformed the brand’s capabilities in how they directly engage with customers across their markets and regions. Gianfranco has spent most of his career agency-side, working with brands as diverse as BMW, Adidas, BT, Disney and easyjet to name but a few. He now shares his experience as an advisor, consultant, keynote speaker and author. With a first degree in Astrophysics, he enjoys explaining that engaging with customers in a relevant way need not be rocket science!

SIT TIGHT AND WATCH

We ask the questions we’d like answered this week

Can we rely on the last-minute panic shoppers to see a significant surge in the Gifting sector volumes we are accustomed to seeing over Peak?

GFS Multi-Carrier Management

With GFS Managed Multi-Carrier Services, you can simplify multi-carrier shipping and elevate your customers’ experience effortlessly!

Gain access to

Services

worldwide destinations

Returns drop-off points

Click & Collect locations

all in one place.

Whether you need international eCommerce solutions and sustainable shipping, we’ve got you covered. We see delivery differently, providing you with unmatched flexibility without the hassle of multiple carrier contracts. With GFS, you’ll unlock easy access to essential tools, reduced operational costs, and the agility to safeguard your business during eCommerce Peak season.

2024-04-03T10:54:23+00:00December 12th, 2023|

Peak Bulletin 2023: Issue 3

Issue #3

Your VIP Pass to the Season’s Pulse in eCommerce Delivery

This Peak, we’re behind the scenes, bringing you unparalleled industry insights. As an eCommerce or Logistics decision-maker, this is your quick coffee shot of just everything you need to know in the industry during this crunch period.

The Peak Bulletin puts together unique insights on carrier updates, industry happenings and parcel volumes based on GFS proprietary data and expert commentary from independent retail market data insight leader Retail Economics.

Stay ahead of the game with unmatched, to-the-point carrier and industry coverage.

INSIDER INSIGHT

GFS data perspective on parcel volumes and delivery performance across the industry

VOLUMES: PUMPED UP OR TONED DOWN?

Data on parcel volumes — are numbers up to or above expectations and industry forecasts?

  • Last week (Week 48) presented a tale of two halves. Cyber Monday and the subsequent two days witnessed robust volumes, but towards the week’s end, volumes did recede slightly in line with expectations.
  • The spotlight now shifts to the next phase of Peak. Despite surpassing the record volume days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, there’s a distinct anticipation that heightened volumes will persist for the remaining three weeks. Early December pay packets are projected to trigger a late surge in orders and parcel volumes.
woman online shopping

RETAIL ROUND-UP

The “mood” of retail shopping this week and how it’s driving performance metrics across product categories

  • Fashion retailers continue to show strength with robust volumes, reporting record volumes over the Cyber weekend.
  • While there’s an overall uplift in volumes across all sectors in the last week, the Gifting sector is yet to fully kick in with Peak volume. Evidence suggests a gradual increase towards the end of Week 48 and throughout the weekend.

CARRIER WATCH

The pressure is ON for parcel deliveries — how are carriers faring in the race to the customer’s doorstep?

  • Carriers note that their total volumes are slightly lower compared to forecasts for Week 48, contributing to enhanced service performance and a positive delivery experience for consumers.
  • Carriers have exhibited effective control and management of parcel volumes with:
    • Incident-free sortation processes at Hubs and Depots.
    • The recruitment of additional delivery drivers, resulting in a robust final-mile delivery experience.
  • Notably, one carrier partner delivered over 1.4 million parcels over the weekend, prioritising early delivery for a stronger position in Week 49.
  • The service performance has been challenged over the weekend through heavy snowfall in parts of the North and Scotland. This has had an understandable impact on delivery performance as some roads were impassable.
  • Overall, the first 2 weeks mark the strongest start to Peak in many years.

PEAK PANORAMA

Industry Commentary in Association with Retail Economics

This week we focus on Peak delivery expectations

  • Shoppers’ delivery expectations are higher than normal over Peak season – they demand speedy and punctual parcel journeys with regular updates, delivered to their location of choice, with the reassurance of hassle-free return options.
  • Prompt and reliable delivery is a must. Over half (56%) of shoppers expect to receive their online orders within two days during Peak (Fig. 3), with a similar proportion (55%) willing to pay up to £7 extra for super-fast delivery, ensuring orders are received in time for the ‘big day’.
  • However, less than a third (31%) of online merchants surveyed currently offer delivery of two days or less, as standard, at this time of year.
  • Unsurprisingly, the biggest concern for UK consumers when it comes to delivery at Peak season is late deliveries, with 46% of consumers highlighting this.

Fig. 1: Consumers expect prompt and reliable delivery at Peak as standard

Source: Retail Economics, n=2000.

Fig. 2: Top delivery frustrations during Peak season

Source: Retail Economics, n=2000.

Richard Lim

Richard Lim
CEO, Retail Economics

Retail Economics

Richard is Chief Executive Officer of Retail Economics, an independent economics research consultancy focused on the consumer and retail industry. He also sits on the Strategic Advisory Board at the University of East Anglia’s School of Economics, ranked in the top 10 departments in Economics in the UK. Previously, Richard held the position of Chief Economist at the British Retail Consortium before heading up the Retail Insight and Analytics team. Richard was voted as a Top Ten Voice for Linked for sharing his insights on the retail industry, has been recognised as a top retail influencer by RETHINK RETAIL in 2023 and also appeared in the final of The Apprentice as one of Lord Sugar’s advisors.

RETAILER TIP

Keys to Successful Retailing during Peak with CRM, Loyalty and Personalisation Consultant, Gianfranco Cuzziol

In the bustling world of eCommerce, the Christmas season, often termed “Peak,” presents unique opportunities and challenges for brands. Here’s how to maximise customer experience:

  • Personalised Engagement: Utilise customer data to personalise the shopping experience. Tailored product recommendations based on browsing history or previous purchases can significantly enhance the customer journey.
  • Streamlined Navigation: Ensure your website or app is easy to navigate during the high traffic of Peak. Simplified search functions and clear categorisation can prevent customer frustration and basket abandonment.
  • Reliable Customer Support: Offer robust customer support, including live chat options and comprehensive FAQs. Quick and efficient problem resolution can foster customer loyalty and positive word-of-mouth.

Gianfranco Cuzziol
CRM, Loyalty and Personalisation Consultant

Gianfranco has over 20 years’ experience in CRM, Loyalty and Personalisation. Most recently he led CRM and Personalisation for Natura & Co working with the four iconic brands of Aesop, Avon, Natura and The Body Shop. Prior to transitioning to a Group role, he was at Aesop where he was responsible for Global CRM including Recognition and Replenishment. He transformed the brand’s capabilities in how they directly engage with customers across their markets and regions. Gianfranco has spent most of his career agency-side, working with brands as diverse as BMW, Adidas, BT, Disney and easyjet to name but a few. He now shares his experience as an advisor, consultant, keynote speaker and author. With a first degree in Astrophysics, he enjoys explaining that engaging with customers in a relevant way need not be rocket science!

SIT TIGHT AND WATCH

We ask the questions we’d like answered this week

The hope for everyone is that the snow and icy conditions quickly recede through this week and the increased temperatures expected towards the end of the week will help to ensure that weather conditions do not hamper Peak service performance.

GFS Multi-Carrier Management

With GFS Managed Multi-Carrier Services, you can simplify multi-carrier shipping and elevate your customers’ experience effortlessly!

Gain access to

Services

worldwide destinations

Returns drop-off points

Click & Collect locations

all in one place.

Whether you need international eCommerce solutions or sustainable shipping, we’ve got you covered. We see delivery differently, providing you with unmatched flexibility without the hassle of multiple carrier contracts. With GFS, you’ll unlock easy access to essential tools, reduced operational costs, and the agility to safeguard your business during eCommerce Peak season.

2024-04-03T10:53:54+00:00December 4th, 2023|

Peak Bulletin 2023: Issue 2

Issue #2

Your VIP Pass to the Season’s Pulse in eCommerce Delivery

This Peak, we’re behind the scenes, bringing you unparalleled industry insights. As an eCommerce or Logistics decision-maker, this is your quick coffee shot of just everything you need to know in the industry during this crunch period.

The Peak Bulletin puts together unique insights on carrier updates, industry happenings and parcel volumes based on GFS proprietary data and expert commentary from independent retail market data insight leader Retail Economics.

Stay ahead of the game with unmatched, to-the-point carrier and industry coverage.

INSIDER INSIGHT

GFS data perspective on parcel volumes and delivery performance across the industry

VOLUMES: PUMPED UP OR TONED DOWN?

Data on parcel volumes — are numbers up to or above expectations and industry forecasts?

  • Black Friday volumes held up well, proving highly successful for some retailers and generally favourable for others.
  • Notably, there was a substantial week-on-week surge in volumes, with week 47 witnessing a remarkable 30% increase compared to week 46 — exceeding the uplift rates seen in 2021 and 2022.

RETAIL ROUND-UP

The “mood” of retail shopping this week and how it’s driving performance metrics across product categories

  • Media scepticism regarding the quality of Black Friday retail offers may have slightly dampened sales, but overwhelming evidence indicates that Black Friday maintains its grip and strong appeal for many consumers.
  • The fashion sector experienced sustained growth in the last one week. Electronics and Home Appliance volumes have also stood their ground. The Gifting sector, which traditionally hits its Peak a bit later, is anticipated to witness a significant increase in the coming two weeks.

CARRIER WATCH

The pressure is ON for parcel deliveries — how are carriers faring in the race to the customer’s doorstep?

Carrier performance across the week has been exceptional, demonstrating high compliance in collections and strong final-mile delivery performance. There’s every indication that carriers will continue their success streak during Peak operations. However, the looming threat of snow towards the end of the week will cause some concern about potential delivery disruptions, especially in remote areas.

PEAK PANORAMA

Industry Commentary in Association with Retail Economics

This week we focus on Peak prospects and Shopper Behaviours

  •   Almost two-thirds (64%) of UK households plan to do most of their Christmas shopping online this year, with marketplaces set to be the preferred online channel of choice (Fig. 1).
  •   UK consumers are set to spend £17.9 billion on online marketplaces this Black Friday and Christmas, according to Retail Economics.
  •   Almost one in every two online orders over Peak season will be made via a marketplace, including general marketplace giants such as Amazon and eBay, and more specialty platforms such as Depop and Etsy.

In a competitive retail environment with high customer expectations and fragile loyalty, marketplaces deliver the convenience (flexible delivery options, wider assortment, and product availability) and compelling value that consumers demand.

Fig. 1: Marketplaces set to be the most popular online channel over Peak, driving £17.9bn in spend

Source: Retail Economics, n=2000.

Richard Lim

Richard Lim
CEO, Retail Economics

Retail Economics

Richard is Chief Executive Officer of Retail Economics, an independent economics research consultancy focused on the consumer and retail industry. He also sits on the Strategic Advisory Board at the University of East Anglia’s School of Economics, ranked in the top 10 departments in Economics in the UK. Previously, Richard held the position of Chief Economist at the British Retail Consortium before heading up the Retail Insight and Analytics team. Richard was voted as a Top Ten Voice for Linked for sharing his insights on the retail industry, has been recognised as a top retail influencer by RETHINK RETAIL in 2023 and also appeared in the final of The Apprentice as one of Lord Sugar’s advisors.

RETAILER TIP

Keys to Successful Retailing during Peak with CRM, Loyalty and Personalisation Consultant, Gianfranco Cuzziol

Amazon has significantly influenced customer shopping habits in the UK, raising expectations in terms of pricing, product availability, and delivery standards

A critical factor at the checkout stage is the variety of delivery options offered. Customers have diverse preferences. While some prioritise free shipping, others may opt for faster delivery. Additionally, some might opt for home delivery, while others might find it more convenient to Click & Collect. 

Particularly during Peak periods, the absence of these varied options can lead to increased instances of basket abandonment, which can be higher than desirable for businesses. It’s essential to cater to these differing delivery preferences to reduce the likelihood of customers abandoning their carts.

Gianfranco Cuzziol
CRM, Loyalty and Personalisation Consultant

Gianfranco has over 20 years’ experience in CRM, Loyalty and Personalisation. Most recently he led CRM and Personalisation for Natura & Co working with the four iconic brands of Aesop, Avon, Natura and The Body Shop. Prior to transitioning to a Group role, he was at Aesop where he was responsible for Global CRM including Recognition and Replenishment. He transformed the brand’s capabilities in how they directly engage with customers across their markets and regions. Gianfranco has spent most of his career agency-side, working with brands as diverse as BMW, Adidas, BT, Disney and easyjet to name but a few. He now shares his experience as an advisor, consultant, keynote speaker and author. With a first degree in Astrophysics, he enjoys explaining that engaging with customers in a relevant way need not be rocket science!

SIT TIGHT AND WATCH

We ask the questions we’d like answered this week

Carriers have successfully navigated the first test of Peak with robust performance. The true volume challenge emerges in the upcoming weeks that will present a sustained high-volume scenario.

Anticipation surrounds a sales surge this week, fueled by November pay packets, and an additional boost propelled by the customary volume spike on Cyber Monday, followed closely by the Christmas countdown as we hit December.

GFS Multi-Carrier Management

With GFS Managed Multi-Carrier Services, you can simplify multi-carrier shipping and elevate your customers’ experience effortlessly!

Gain access to

Services

worldwide destinations

Returns drop-off points

Click & Collect locations

all in one place.

Whether you need international eCommerce solutions, sustainable shipping, or 3PL delivery options, we’ve got you covered. We see delivery differently, providing you with unmatched flexibility without the hassle of multiple carrier contracts. With GFS, you’ll unlock easy access to essential tools, reduced operational costs, and the agility to safeguard your business during eCommerce Peak season.

2024-06-03T07:48:26+00:00November 28th, 2023|

Peak Bulletin 2023: Issue 1

Issue #1

Your VIP Pass to the Season’s Pulse in eCommerce Delivery

This Peak, we’re behind the scenes, bringing you unparalleled industry insights. As an eCommerce or Logistics decision-maker, this is your quick coffee shot of just everything you need to know in the industry during this crunch period.

The Peak Bulletin puts together unique insights on carrier updates, industry happenings and parcel volumes based on GFS proprietary data and expert commentary from independent retail market data insight leader Retail Economics.

Stay ahead of the game with unmatched, to-the-point carrier and industry coverage.

INSIDER INSIGHT

GFS data perspective on parcel volumes and delivery performance across the industry

VOLUMES: PUMPED UP OR TONED DOWN?

Data on parcel volumes — are numbers up to or above expectations and industry forecasts?

  • Several retailers have reported high stock levels, anticipating a robust Peak season kick-started by a successful Black Friday weekend.
  • Volumes over the last week (week 46) indicate a noteworthy surge as compared to previous weeks, with an increase of 15-20% in average volumes vis-a-vis week 45. Week 46 also started to see high points on individual days of the year being achieved.
  • Peak forecasts draw support from ONS data revealing a slight dip in overall retail sales volume in October. However, this is countered by the positive growth in non-store retail sales volume, which rose by 0.8%.

RETAIL ROUND-UP

The “mood” of retail shopping this week and how it’s driving performance metrics across product categories

  • Thanksgiving and hence Black Friday falls at a much earlier time in November this year heralding a longer Peak trading period.
  • The shape of Peak is always intriguing and this year promises to be no different. While global forecasts hint at a potential dip in total eCommerce volumes during Peak, individual retailer predictions showcase optimism for moderate sales growth.
  • Many retailers have jumped the gun, initiating early Black Friday promotions to not only drive sales but also engage consumers in good time to secure Peak sales.
  • Week 46 data highlights robust growth in the fashion sector, witnessing increased volumes in clothing and footwear. In the same week, the home appliance and electronics category has also experienced a surge in sales activity. This growth is expected to persist with retailers offering an enticing 25% to 50% off in the run up to Black Friday.
man typing on computer keyboard holding credit card

CARRIER WATCH

The pressure is ON for parcel deliveries — how are carriers faring in the race to the customer’s doorstep?

  • Forward-thinking retailers have embraced multiple delivery solutions in the past 12 months to offer more options at Checkout. This includes extending services for direct deliveries to Parcel Shops. This strategy mitigates risks tied to individual carrier capacity, supports consolidated delivery to a single location, and offers customers choice to manage parcel collection at their convenience.
  • Carriers are entering Peak season on the back of a robust delivery performance, having pro-actively addressed challenges from previous years. Early completion of massive recruitment efforts for drivers, operational teams, and customer service agents has bolstered service levels in the past two weeks.
  • Meticulous carrier planning acknowledges past capacity issues from 2022, with strong operations policies now in place to manage collections and regulate capacity. This safeguards the integrity of their final mile delivery service.
  • Carriers have made substantial infrastructure investments in the last 24 months, enhancing network sortation capacity to handle Peak volumes efficiently. The emphasis now is on controlled parcel flow to delivery networks, ensuring a seamless final mile delivery experience for consumers.
parcels being delivered

PEAK PANORAMA

Industry Commentary in Association with Retail Economics

This week we focus on Peak prospects and Shopper Behaviours

  • Due to ongoing cost of living pressures and higher interest rates, the typical UK household will have £109 less to spend in the run up to Christmas compared to last year (Q4 2023 vs Q4 2022). As a result, 79% of UK consumers plan to cut back on discretionary spending related to Black Friday and Christmas.
  • Retailers appear to be more optimistic about prospects for Peak demand, with almost two-thirds of online merchants surveyed stating sales volumes will broadly align with last year and 24% expecting volumes to rise on last year.
  • Savvy consumers are using all means necessary to manage their budgets by leveraging promotional events such as Black Friday, searching for bargains on online marketplaces, and starting their festive shopping earlier to spread the cost (see Fig. 1).
  • The impetus to shop early and engage in promotional events is particularly pronounced among younger shoppers. 44% of digital natives (aged under 45) intend to make a festive purchase during Black Friday/Cyber Monday.
  • ‘Early bird’ shopping is becoming the norm. 40% of UK consumers surveyed starting their Christmas shopping pre-October, while one in four retailers say they’ve launched their festive promotions earlier than normal this year – effectively elongating Peak season.

Fig. 1: Peak season shopping strategies

Do you plan to do any of the following when shopping over the Christmas holiday season this year?

Source: Retail Economics, n=2000.

Richard Lim

Richard Lim
CEO, Retail Economics

Retail Economics

Richard is Chief Executive Officer of Retail Economics, an independent economics research consultancy focused on the consumer and retail industry. He also sits on the Strategic Advisory Board at the University of East Anglia’s School of Economics, ranked in the top 10 departments in Economics in the UK. Previously, Richard held the position of Chief Economist at the British Retail Consortium before heading up the Retail Insight and Analytics team. Richard was voted as a Top Ten Voice for Linked for sharing his insights on the retail industry, has been recognised as a top retail influencer by RETHINK RETAIL in 2023 and also appeared in the final of The Apprentice as one of Lord Sugar’s advisors.

RETAILER TIP

Keys to Successful Retailing during Peak with CRM, Loyalty and Personalisation Consultant, Gianfranco Cuzziol

During Peak seasons, when gift purchases are prevalent, brands should focus on establishing a connection with the gift recipients. One effective method is the use of connected packaging. For example, while at Aesop, where I served as the Global Head of CRM, we introduced QR codes on our Festive Gift Kits. These codes, when scanned, led the recipients to our website, offering them a unique short story related to their gift.

This approach not only enriched the gift experience but also enabled us to understand the specific kits received by the customers. As a result, we could provide tailored ‘How to use’ guides. This strategy was well-received, as it was seen as both generous and helpful, encouraging recipients to leave their email addresses, either by subscribing to our newsletter or creating a profile.

In summary, Peak season is not just an opportunity for immediate sales but also for long-term customer engagement.

Gianfranco Cuzziol
CRM, Loyalty and Personalisation Consultant

Gianfranco has over 20 years’ experience in CRM, Loyalty and Personalisation. Most recently he led CRM and Personalisation for Natura & Co working with the four iconic brands of Aesop, Avon, Natura and The Body Shop. Prior to transitioning to a Group role, he was at Aesop where he was responsible for Global CRM including Recognition and Replenishment. He transformed the brand’s capabilities in how they directly engage with customers across their markets and regions. Gianfranco has spent most of his career agency-side, working with brands as diverse as BMW, Adidas, BT, Disney and easyjet to name but a few. He now shares his experience as an advisor, consultant, keynote speaker and author. With a first degree in Astrophysics, he enjoys explaining that engaging with customers in a relevant way need not be rocket science!

SIT TIGHT AND WATCH

We ask the questions we’d like answered this week

What can we anticipate for the coming week? Despite the gradual wintry conditions, the Met Office predicts no noteworthy snowfall, hopefully this means good news for collections and deliveries.

Additionally, with no World Cup games to divert attention, how does this set the stage for in-store and online shopping during Cyber Weekend?

GFS Multi-Carrier Management

With GFS Managed Multi-Carrier Services, you can simplify multi-carrier shipping and elevate your customers’ experience effortlessly!

Gain access to

Services

worldwide destinations

Returns drop-off points

Click & Collect locations

all in one place.

Whether you need international eCommerce solutions, sustainable shipping, or 3PL delivery options, we’ve got you covered. We see delivery differently, providing you with unmatched flexibility without the hassle of multiple carrier contracts. With GFS, you’ll unlock easy access to essential tools, reduced operational costs, and the agility to safeguard your business during eCommerce Peak season.

2023-11-29T10:59:08+00:00November 21st, 2023|

Masterclass Replay: Master Customer-Centric Delivery and Reduce Cart Abandonment

Masterclass Replay: Master Customer-Centric Delivery and Reduce Cart Abandonment

The traditional rules of checkout and delivery operations are clearly hurting sales, and resulting in customer cart abandonment. Is there a way to enhance the checkout experience without making it an operational cost burden?

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

Managed Multi-carrier Services

Hear more from our customers

Want to know more?

2024-06-03T06:00:38+00:00July 18th, 2023|

Next Steps to Sell to EU Customers with IOSS

Next Steps to Sell to EU Customers with IOSS

The Import One Stop Shop (IOSS) was launched in July 2021 to simplify VAT compliance and shipping for the distance selling of goods up to €150. UK businesses who qualify for this service are still hesitant to reconnect their trade ties with the EU due to a lack of clarity and sense of complexity around this post-Brexit service.

However, with the EU being the UK’s biggest eCommerce market – it’s time to change that. Whether you want to reboot EU sales or start selling there for the first time, this 45-minute Masterclass tells you what you need to know to make selling to the EU hassle-free with IOSS.

Shipping experts, GFS are cut through the noise and explain in ‘plain speak’ what this means, with step-by-step guidance on how to get started.

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

Multi-carrier delivery and returns without the pain

Hear more from our customers

Want to know more?

2023-09-18T12:32:29+00:00May 10th, 2023|

Cracking the Code: How are the Top-Ranking eCommerce Retailers Getting Delivery Right?

Cracking the Code: How are the Top-Ranking eCommerce Retailers Getting Delivery Right?

DeliveryX formally eDelivery has produced the Top500 every year since 2016. The report tracks and analyses the Operations and Logistics capabilities of the Top 500 retailers across Europe and ranks the leaders.

Join RetailX Editor-in-Chief Ian Jindal and expert in delivery, Group Marketing Director at GFS Bobbie Ttooulis as they answer these questions and discuss how the findings of the report adds up to business success.

Illustrated with case studies from de Bijenkorf, Nocibé, Amazon, and Toolstation the webinar will examine how these companies are performing against our delivery metrics.

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

Multi-carrier delivery and returns without the pain

Hear more from our customers

Want to know more?

2023-09-18T12:32:45+00:00May 10th, 2023|

April & May UK Bank Holidays 2023 – Delivery Schedule

Easter

DHL ParcelDPDEvriTuffnellsDX
Thursday 6th AprilNormal serviceNormal serviceNormal serviceNormal serviceNormal service
Good Friday 7th AprilClosedClosedNormal service ClosedClosed
Saturday
8th April
Normal serviceNormal serviceNormal service Normal serviceNormal service
Easter Sunday 9th AprilClosedClosedClosedClosedClosed
Easter Monday 10th AprilClosedClosedClosedClosedClosed
Tuesday 11th AprilNormal serviceNormal serviceNormal service Normal serviceNormal service

May Day Bank Holiday

DHL ParcelDPDEvriTuffnellsDX
Saturday 29th AprilNormal serviceNormal service Normal service Normal serviceNormal service
Sunday 30th AprilClosedNormal service Normal service ClosedClosed
Monday 1st MayClosedClosedClosedClosedClosed
Tuesday 2nd MayNormal serviceNormal service Normal service Normal serviceNormal service
Wednesday 3rd MayNormal serviceNormal service Normal service Normal serviceNormal service

Coronation

DHL ParcelDPDEvriTuffnellsDX
Saturday 6th MayNormal serviceNormal service Normal service Normal serviceNormal service
Sunday
7th May
ClosedNormal service Normal service ClosedClosed
Monday 8th MayClosedClosedClosedClosedClosed
Tuesday 9th MayNormal serviceNormal service Normal service Normal serviceNormal service
Wednesday 10th MayNormal serviceNormal service Normal service Normal serviceNormal service

Spring Bank Holiday

DHL ParcelDPDEvriTuffnellsDX
Saturday 27th MayNormal serviceNormal service Normal service Normal serviceNormal service
Sunday
28th May
ClosedNormal service Normal service ClosedClosed
Monday 29th MayClosedClosedClosedClosedClosed
Tuesday 30th MayNormal serviceNormal service Normal service Normal serviceNormal service
Wednesday 31th MayNormal serviceNormal service Normal service Normal serviceNormal service
2023-09-18T12:32:55+00:00February 21st, 2023|

Global Shopping Behaviour in Peak 2022

In the Black Friday season of 2022, consumers globally increased their online transactions by 4.8% and spent a lot more time online browsing and shopping for the best deals in their quest for the “better price”.

With Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals starting earlier and running longer this year, how has it impacted eCommerce shopping behaviour in global markets? Let’s have a quick look.

2023-09-18T12:33:05+00:00January 17th, 2023|
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