Editor's Comment

Editorial: Why the current level of returns is just the tip of the iceberg

So the day of eDelivery Expo (EDX) 2018 is here at last. The two-day conference, held at Birmingham’s NEC, covers the final mile and operational excellence in delivery and logistics and really is the must-attend conference for anyone in the industry. Coupled with its sister show InternetRetailing Expo (IRX) there’s really no excuse to not be there.

Whether you are on your way or have other commitments today and tomorrow the newsletter is of course filled with the usual latest industry news and views.

In returns, a key topic of eDelivery Expo, we have the latest returns technology announcement from FedEx which also this week reveals an expansion of its FedEx Office offer within Walmart.

The importance of returns – and particularly consumer behaviour around returns – is further highlighted by research into millennials attitudes towards returns which shows that younger shoppers have a much lower tolerance with the returns experience than older shoppers.

We know returns are important. Retailers know returns are important but is it yet high enough on the board’s agenda? Sadly it seems not. Though the subject is rising up the rankings the focus on returns as a boardroom priority is still rather limited, according to an interview with Graham Best of ReBound, this week.

And in our final piece on returns, we have a survey that suggests whilst the greater adoption of try before you buy schemes by retailers may help to boost sales it’s also likely to have a huge impact on returns and needs to be managed more closely than ever.

Elsewhere in the newsletter, we have two news stories from DHL. The company has launched a new same-day delivery service, DHL Parcel Metro, in the US, whilst in Germany its parent company has announced a new mega parcel centre.

And finally, did we mention eDelivery Expo starts today? NetDespatch’s co-CEO Matthew Robertson hasn’t forgotten. He has written an opinion piece prompted by the topics that are to be discussed at the show and reminding us all that delivery is all about customer service. It’s certainly going to be a key theme of the next couple of days.

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