The disruption of the retail segment by electronic commerce has forced merchandisers to focus on "last-mile" delivery. Traditional fulfillment systems were designed around the movement of large pallets from warehouses to supermarkets or big-box stores. With e-commerce, by contrast, customers shop online to purchase a single item that's shipped separately to the door. "It's never going to be profitable for a logistics company to deliver one parcel at a time for people who are not at home," says Moos.
There's a big discussion going on about the need for same-day or even hour-specific delivery. But what customers really want, in Moos's view, is transparency. Certainty turns out to be more important than speed, even though so many e-commerce websites are pushing ever-faster delivery times.
Another important element of a successful e-commerce offering is the presence of multiple delivery options. They've been shown to result in more finalizations of the shopping cart, says Moos. "You need to provide the options to people that suit their everyday lives the best," he adds. That might entail the ability to pick up parcels when they go to the supermarket. The idea is to place deliveries "in the normal, everyday life of the consumer."
The locker box offers an alternative to expensive home delivery. It's currently enjoying popularity in Europe, especially in Denmark, Moos says. Unlike in a parcel shop, customers don't have to wait in line to pick up their packages. They go to a station, which can be in an existing store, type in a code and retrieve their items immediately.
This so-called "click-and-collect" option offers merchandisers a big advantage, Moos says. And it helps traditional retailers to meld their operations with the growing world of e-commerce.
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