Blog Post

DELIVER 2021 insights: Customer experience, sustainability, and choice to improve the last mile delivery experience

In a continually evolving retail landscape, we take a look at the key insights from DELIVER, Europe’s premier event in 2021 for e-commerce and logistics.

November 12, 2021
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3 mins

More than 1,000 e-commerce and logistics professionals participated virtually and physically in DELIVER 2021 in Amsterdam on 6-7 October 2021. Described as the 'Davos for logistics in e-commerce’ and weeks before COP 26, this year’s theme, focused on the "Importance of Sustainability in the Supply Chain", was a call to the industry to accelerate the pace of their sustainability initiatives.

As we experience the second year of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the logistics and ecommerce industry is dealing with an increased consumer demand for quick, hassle-free deliveries. In addition, it faces even more pressure to offer eco-friendly options for consumers at checkout due to aligning with their own sustainability plans and a shift in consumer mindset. Despite these growing consumer demands and the global environmental and societal challenges to tackle, there was an air of optimism at this year’s DELIVER event.

On Day 1 of DELIVER our UK Country Manager Sébastien Potts took part in a discussion with Amy McNamara, Head of Operations at Boohoo Group and Adam Sage, The Times - facilitated by Darko Atijas, True Altitude - on ‘How to make last mile in logistics more sustainable’.

At this and the other panel sessions there were three key themes that major e-commerce brands are addressing to drive customer innovation faster, whilst making a positive impact on the supply chain and the environment.

1. Customer experience: Brands need to use the last mile to delight the customer

E-commerce and logistics experts reiterated at DELIVER the need for a fast, reliable, safe, and convenient last-mile delivery experience has become more important than ever before.

Sébastien suggested that ecommerce brands should use the last mile as a ‘doorstep theatre’ in which to delight the customer to be a strong end of brand experience. Whether that be through technology, where brands can engage with the consumer throughout the delivery process, right up to when the parcel handover stage at the doorstep. Brands that can get this right can make the last mile their best mile and generate happy loyal customers."

2.Sustainability: A growing focus on sustainability in the last mile

According to analysis by the World Economic Forum (WEF) emissions from last mile deliveries are on track to rise 30% in 10 years as the number of urban dwellers and online shoppers grows. Furthermore, the demand for urban last mile delivery will grow 78% by 2030, leading to a 36% rise in delivery vehicles in inner cities. As carbon dioxide emissions continue to rise, many cities across Europe have placed restrictions and bans on vehicles in a bid to reduce pollution levels.

Sébastien explained that a sustainable approach in last mile deliveries goes beyond just green deliveries, to considering how couriers are treated and paid and communities and customers can benefit. Key to transforming last mile deliveries sustainably is logistics partners and ecommerce companies working together to find solutions and educate the consumer about their sustainability actions."

Amy McNamara from Boohoo shared that they have explored providing their consumers an ethical delivery option at checkout.

3.Convenience: Same-day delivery will become the status quo

Recent survey data from Bringg forecast that same-day delivery will become a “status quo” offering from retailers this year.  In an American Express and Forrester survey, 57% of respondents stated that same-day shipping would make them more loyal to a customer’s brand.

Amy McNamara from Boohoo mentioned at Boohoo they've seen a direct correlation of customers who shop from their higher end brands, such as Karen Millen and Coast, choosing the same-day delivery option more frequently.

As one-in-three retailers plan to add same-day delivery services in the next six to 12 months,including the 38% of retailers that already offer same-day delivery, this will mean the supply chain needs to be flexible and potentially extend hub networks in key areas.

More importantly,as retail and ecommerce continues to grow the brands, delivery and logistics partners,and technology companies need to come together to consolidate deliveries and provide greener options to reduce traffic and cut harmful emissions throughout the entire supply chain, while focusing on creating a customer-centric experience.

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