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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.

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