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.


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?

  • 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


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.

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