Editor's Comment

Editorial: Is a delivery driver letting themselves in really the answer?

One of the biggest announcements in the last week has been that of Amazon Key, a new in-home delivery service that will launch in the US on November 8. As ever the challenge of getting a delivery to you when you are out and about is the Holy Grail that everyone wants to achieve and the options are boundless with latest similar initiatives including delivery to car and other delivery to home options all being trialled.

The Amazon announcement, however, takes it mainstream. But is it something shoppers will trust? And is it feasible in the UK when there are so many other options available?

Whilst I’m happy for a neighbour to pop in my house to drop a parcel in would I be as relaxed about a delivery driver doing so – even if I can watch them while I’m doing it? I’m really not sure. And there is also the cost. Although the service itself is free for Amazon Prime shoppers it requires a kit that at a starting price of $249.99 isn’t cheap.

Amazon Prime of course is a great example of a delivery saver scheme that ties in customers – boosting loyalty and spend as a result and retailers far and wide are catching on to the benefits of the model. A new report however suggests there is even more opportunity to be exploited with the delivery subscription model and encourages other retailers to look at the benefits – particularly for those in the fashion and department store sectors – or risk losing market share to those who already are offering it.

Retailers who offer such schemes are are also getting to know their customers better – and reaping the rewards as a result. In the first of two opinion pieces we have this week Mike Cooper, CEO of Yodel, says that knowing your customer is vital to delivering a seamless experience – something that is certainly no mean feat.

Our second opinion piece looks at the upcoming peak and how to handle it – ensuring goods get onto carriers, into stores and instore your customers’ hands with as few bumps in the road as possible. The advice comes from Jan van Casteren, VP Europe at Flexport, who has three top tips to share.

As it prepares for the festive rush Royal Mail has announced the opening of 10 temporary parcel sort centres to handle the increased volumes of Christmas.

And finally in London Dropit has announced its expansion into Covent Garden after a new partnership with landowner Capco. The Dropit service allows customers to drop multiple bags into multiple shops that are combined into one delivery. Meanwhile in Spain fashion giant Inditex has revealed it is piloting a new click and collect parcel pickup solution in one of its Zara stores in the country, using a new solution from Cleveron.

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