Take aways from The Delivery Conference

  • 82
  • 10 Feb 2016

On Tuesday, 2nd of February, Metapack was organizing “The Delivery Conference”, with high level speakers, this was a great opportunity to get insights from carriers and retailers on the hidden part of the iceberg : delivery.

As a sum up, here are the take aways and key points of the day. But clearly, user experience and returns are the main challenges carriers and retailers are trying to solve.

John Lewis – Paul Coby, CIO

Customer’s journey is now highly complex.


In #omnichannel it is more complex but #technology cuts thru and makes it possible #tdc16 pic.twitter.com/GixFJefSDf

— Georgia Leybourne (@gleybourne) February 2, 2016



The future is in omnichannel shopping


There’s no point having a pretty website if you don’t have the proper distribution.


All #retail take note, "you can't do the front end without the back end" well said #tdc16 pic.twitter.com/Ol2SJ7qjqA

— Georgia Leybourne (@gleybourne) February 2, 2016




John Lewis online sales in 2009 were 12%, now over 35%
Manage the business as a whole and understand it as a whole.


#TDC16 Coby: what's important doesn't change. Last week at #rpalogistics16 Amazon stressed building a business around what stays the same

— Mark Faithfull (@RPAnalyst) February 2, 2016

If you think you know what retail will look like in 2020, Good luck ! Things are changing very quickly.

Asda – Toyou project – Paul Anastasiou, Senior Director

Asda is a supermarket retailer, who, while rethinking their distribution, launched a customer survey, key feedbacks were:

  • 24 to 48 hours delivery;
  • tracking,
  • choice of collection options, collection is different depending time of the Day
  • Hassle free,
  • Safe collection point (easy to park, with light)

Creating various collection / drop off points: small shops drop off boxes, automated boxes… 
The main innovations: 

  • open the platform to 3rd party partners
  • Track on the go
  • Use language users can understand, not expert language
  • Returns can be done in any point, using label printing machines
  • Smartphone technology used to track  


What’s next?


Use of Apple’s application “Passbook” and “Google Now”. Using native apps provide a wider range of users, rather than a dedicated app. QR codes can be send and stored to the native apps, allowing users to pick up their parcels from automated points.

On the dot - same day delivery – Patrick Gallagher, CEO

New services are being created everywhere: Argos, prime now, postmates, instacart, ebay now, Uberrush
On the dot picks up a parcel from a shop and delivers it to the customer’s address within 5 to 10 km, within an hour.


"It's about serving the customer when they want it where they want it" #TDC16 #delivery #supplychain

— On the dot (@onthedotuk) February 2, 2016


Customers can choose a 1-hour time slot for their delivery. For example: buying groceries at noon, and choose to be delivered between 17.00 and 18.00 the same day.

Shops can choose integrated or not integrated services:

  • Integration: uses APIs to connect to On The Dot system
  • Non integration: shops connect to the website and order picking/delivery online. They pay on the go or buying packs

Volvo – Tommy Hansson Strand, Senior Innovation Manager

Self driving cars provide free time for online surfing! (and shopping)
First Volvo’s connected cars were launched 15 years ago. Now, you can monitor them with an app, providing you data & tools such as: 

  • Localization
  • Fluids levels
  • Last journey track
  • Locking / unlocking
  • Volvo’s deliver in car allows carriers to deliver the parcels in the car “wherever it is”.


Easy....#TDC16 pic.twitter.com/zS6e6xZgdH — Virginie Ducrot (@VDucrot) February 2, 2016




Carriers will be provided with a temporary digital key for the car. Volvo’s Parcel Insurance covers the process.
Giving away privacy?
Users balance value of the service against privacy giveaway. If the service is useful, people don't mind.
The service is already available in 2 cities in Sweden, including Stockholm. 




DHL – Richard Lange, VP Product Management DHL Fulfillment

“2050 of logistics”: goods won’t be delivered, it will be printed! 3d printing service is already seen as the future of DHL services. "We don't want to be the next Kodak"
Back to now, DHL, provides a wide range of “classic” services (home delivery, tracking,…) but also : send to a requested neighbor, pack station and drones.
“No, drones will not be the future of delivery”: if DHL parcels in Berlin were Drones-delivered only, one should take off every 6 seconds!


Drones will be used for time critical or remote areas, not the future of delivery #dhl #TDC16

— MetaPack (@MetaPack) February 2, 2016


Panel – Liefery, Doddle, eBay, IMRG, Starship

Customers are not loyal to a single delivery option. They will use a different delivery method and provider each time. Choice is the key.


Is same day delivery or specific services premium? Does it justify a higher price? Only customers will decide it.


User experience
Carriers have to align on UX standards to be competitive, if not; they make the users confused and will not be used again.
Tim Robinson, Doddle: “Delivery options can be a starting choice while shopping and not at the end of the checkout”, delivery as a service could benefit from a better highlight. 
Zones are not benefiting from the same level of services. User experience changes from an area to another, but disruptive services are expanding to wider areas.


How to make delivery more environment friendly? 
Whether it’s delivered or not, shopping means moving a product from a shopping point to the customer’s home. Transportation is mandatory in the process.
Some habits/progress can make it more environmentally friendly: consistency of service, favoring the use of the same carrier for same time shopping.
Decrease of failed delivery: going back one or two times to the destination place highly increase environment impact.

 Why? When? How? Nobody really analyzed it, and it’s poorly addressed.
Asking the proper questions would help providing the best carrier/price and allow putting the product back in stock faster (warehouse or shops).
For example: 


  • Broken product => take a picture, don’t send it back
  • Wrong size => drop it to the nearest shop; if shop’s stock is low, the product is added to the shop inventory, if stock is high, it’s send back to warehouse; or if there’s no shop, the product can be added to inventory and sold again before it is actually received by the warehouse.
  • Product deficiency => sent to the warehouse for quality analysis.

M&S – David Walmsley, Director M&S.com

What to provide?
Relevant, inspiring and effortless experience


Consistency, convenience and communication 
What does it mean?


  • Returns from all M&S
  • Giving great reasons to go in store
  • Accurate messages


What did they do ?
M&S did one (the?) larger re-platforming to be able to create a new customer experience: over 2 years project. This was mandatory to create an omni-channel experience.


"Leveraging analytics and technology appropriately", D Walmsley @marksandspencer @MetaPack #Parcelly - #clickandcollect revolution #TDC16

— Parcelly (@parcelly) February 2, 2016


Leveraging analytics and tech appropriately within this strategy framework 
Statistics on behaviors but also rethinking of physical space : clearer pick up points, cameras with heatmaps allows traffic analysis, better service and iterating on physical space.
“Retail technology should not involve too much people who hate shopping!”

Asos – Nick Beighton, CEO

Asos CEO explaining their fashion strategy targeting 20 somethings. #TDC16 pic.twitter.com/EjhAfQETSF

— Nick Mulder (@NickdotMulder) February 2, 2016



What to provide ?
Choice, convenience, emotional connection 

  • Great fashion, great price
  • Awesome on mobile
  • Engaging content and experience
  • Best in class service


What does it mean?

  • Products : 4000 lines added each week
  • Mobile experience is more than just shopping, mobile traffic went from none in 2010 to 48.5% in september 2015, tablets being 11.9%
  • Content must reach customers and resonate as best friend’s advice
  • Distribution : 25000 orders in an hour at black friday.


Delivery success
It's a priority!
Free standard shipping allows international growth. Next day Delivery is used by 50% of uk customers


What's next ? 
Top secret, but will be focusing on customers.



About Metapack

MetaPack is a provider of delivery management technology to enterprise retailers and retail delivery partners across the world. The platform integrates to 300 carriers and 3500 delivery services – ensuring that retailers can offer consumers delivery choice and convenience.
For each and every order, MetaPack identify the most appropriate delivery service for that particular customer, providing a seamless and personalised delivery experience, whilst removing manual and time consuming processes in the retailer’s warehouse. Read more on Metapack's website 

Smile has integrated the service on VFc websites : The North Face, Vans, Kipling, Eastpak, 7forallmankind, on both checkout and returns processes.

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