What will one hour delivery mean for the retail logistics industry if it becomes a mainstream service? Michael Smith, CML's Customer Account Manager explores the issue...
Amazon offering a one-hour delivery service on certain products in Manhattan has highlighted an emerging trend that the retail logistics industry needs to adapt to.
Firstly it is worth noting that such a service is some way from becoming a truly mainstream possibility. The supply chain implications and challenges are immense for the retailer, the logistics provider and the last-mile courier alike. Furthermore, providing such a service would require best possible efficiency, flexibility and accuracy within an end-to-end supply chain in order to become a viable and successful option, which probably explains why Amazon currently restricts the service to daily essentials only.
However, what the service highlights on a wider scale is increasing consumer expectations that the retail logistics industry has to be willing and prepared to provide. With the growth of multi-channel retailing showing no signs of slowing down, retailers are offering consumers an ever wider range of ways to engage with their brand and purchase their products. For the industry, this increase in consumer expectations includes providing excellent speed of chain performance, a high level of inventory accuracy and flexible courier and distribution options.
In order to be considered worthy custodians of a quality brand experience therefore, all retail logistics providers must look for innovative ways of exceeding consumers’ demands and expectations on a regular basis. If they do not turn and face such challenges, they run the risk of being left behind in a fast moving and ever changing marketplace.