Editor's Comment

Editorial: Knowing what the customer wants before they know themselves

AI is having a huge impact on the future of retail and promises some really exciting stuff – including the ability to better predict customers’ buying intentions before they know themselves. This offers great opportunity for marketing but perhaps even greater opportunity for getting the right stock in the right place at the right time.  

The ability to do this could really change the delivery model and as such it’s this idea of how technology is allowing retailers and their carrier partners to start predicting the unpredictable that is the focus of an opinion piece from David Saenz, chief operating officer at Stuart 

Talking of unpredictable Black Friday is approaching fast and some retailers – take my favourite Wiggle for example – are already well into their Black Friday promotions. As retailers ready themselves for the peak it’s inevitable that they will be looking to lessons of the past to ensure that this year’s promotional event goes smoothly. But China’s Singles Day, which took place on Saturday, will perhaps provide some of the richest lessons on how to get your customers to spend more – and, importantly, how to handle the increased volume. In an opinion piece from Jonathan Bellwood, founder and CEO of Peoplevox he reveals how applying some Chinese wisdom really can help you win.  

Knowing customer preferences around delivery is vital and MetaPack’s latest study into consumer delivery preferences has some interesting insights – including the increasing popularity of delivery loyalty schemes and a hunger for try before you buy schemes – all options that retailers should be starting to look to embrace.  

As it ramps for peak DPD has announced its two millionth download for its Your DPD app as it says it will deliver 28 million parcels between Black Friday and Christmas Eve. The company has helped to revolutionise the delivery experience for customers but it seems some shoppers, in London at least, aren’t happy with the range and speed of delivery available to them, with many saying that deliveries are vague and not flexible enough for them, according to new research out this week.  

In Europe DHL Parcel has revealed the expansion of its Packstation operations in Germany as well as plans to roll out the concept elsewhere in Europe too. The locker solution allows registered users to collect and send parcels directly.  

Over in the US meanwhile UPS is trialling its eBike solution in Pittsburgh as it seeks to evaluate acceptance of the alternative vehicle for deliveries in the city.   

Image credit: Fotolia 

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