Nigel Blunt, head of operations development at Sainsbury’s Argos, urged retailers to not be distracted by autonomous vehicles and warehouses in the sky and instead concentrate on trends that he said were “much closer to home”.
Speaking at a keynote address at the recent eDelivery Expo Blunt said that whilst he admitted such futuristic technologies were important to consider he said he believed the three trends of certainty and control, returns and click and collect deserved more urgent attention from retailers.
“Customers are increasingly demanding they are in control of their fulfilment,” he said, citing customer needs for delivery amendments post-purchase, excellent communication, narrower time slots and in the moment tracking.
He said that returns were an often overlooked part of the process but said that customer expectation in this space was rapidly increasing.
And he predicted that click and collect would outstrip home delivery in terms of growth rates. “Home delivery and click and collect will be the winners at the cost of walk-in trade. Convenience, control and cost resonate strongly with customers,” he said.
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