Connecting with consumers via innovation

17th February 2017

Following another hugely successful year where the IMRG revealed that online sales in the UK grew by 16% to £133bn, an industry commentator recently asked me whether I thought the home delivery market was finally approaching its saturation point.

I believe there is still huge scope for future growth across the sector; however it is now more important than ever for home delivery operators to target the right market opportunities if they are going to continue to thrive in the years to come.

It is now more important than ever for home delivery operators to target the right market opportunities

We all know that increasing customer demands, especially from the millennial generation, and technological advances are revolutionising the ecommerce market.

Customers want faster delivery speeds, set time slots, same-day and seven-days-a-week services, as well as multichannel deliveries.

They want absolute transparency of the delivery process, to know where their parcel is in real time and the ability to alter their delivery while it is in flight.

Mobile rising

During December 2016 online sales via smartphone were up 47% year on year

In its report, the IMRG also revealed that online sales via smartphone were up 47% year on year during December 2016, which is absolutely staggering.

It is clear that huge emphasis must also be placed on developing delivery solutions that integrate with smart devices.

Many of the digital assistants that play an integral role within a smartphone, such as Alexa (Amazon), Siri (Apple) and Cortana (Microsoft), are now being deployed more widely – like with the Amazon Echo smart speakers or via games consoles such as the Xbox One.

This is ensuring that the everyday home is becoming increasingly ‘smart’ and it is important that delivery solutions do too.

Huge emphasis must also be placed on developing delivery solutions that integrate with smart devices.

That is why we have been working hard to ensure we will be the first parcel company in the UK to fully integrate our end-to-end tracking solution with Amazon’s line of Echo smart speakers.

This innovation will allow consumers to use voice commands via the Amazon Echo or Echo Dot to receive real-time updates on where their parcel is.

Online shoppers are becoming increasingly tech savvy and are relying more and more on their smart devices to carry out everyday tasks, like paying bills or ordering food.

It is essential that home-delivery operators respond to this trend and develop their portfolio of solutions accordingly in order to remain connected with the consumer.

Jon Ormond is Director of Hubs and Depots at Hermes UK