What does it take to be one of Europe’s Top 500 retailers when it comes to logistics and operations?—We partnered with RetailX to uncover the answers.
Here are the 10 biggest insights from the full DeliveryX Europe Top500:
Pressures on operations and logistics are not going away—fulfillment services, warehouses, supply chains, and more are still in flux.
Against this backdrop, consumers are continuing to shop online and their expectations for fast delivery and easy returns are higher than ever.
Meeting customer expectations and managing logistics (and associated costs) requires a careful balancing act.
(Pro Tip: Having clear visibility into your end-to-end supply chain will help you exceed the expectations of this post-pandemic shopper. You can read more about the value of first-to-last mile supply chain visibility here.)
Most customers expect to wait 3-5 days for delivery, and the number of Top 500 retailers offering next day delivery has dropped by 8 percentage points since 2020.
Pressure is mounting on retailers to act sustainably across all areas of operations and logistics. Staff, technology and automation are important - as is visible innovation.
Lockers reduce CO2 emissions by as much as two-thirds in cities compared to door-to-door services. Returns consolidation, smart dispositioning and printerless returns are three ways to reduce the carbon footprint of your operations.
Click and collect is particularly popular in the UK, where Dunelm reports that a third of customers make an additional purchase in-store when collecting an item purchased online.
Consumers used to receiving their groceries in under an hour will come to expect the same service from other retailers.
But, according to our own research, consumers see fast delivery as a premium service and are willing to pay for 2-day or same day delivery. Retailers won’t be expected to offer expedited shipping for free. Some retailers are leaning into these perks via VIP programs for their most valued and loyal customers.
A frustrating returns process will put customers off permanently.
The data from our 2021 Returns Report backs this up, and speaks for itself:
The percentage of retailers refunding original shipping costs has dropped by 47 percentage points - with just 40% of Top 500 retailers refunding the fee.
56% of Top 500 retailers are now offering free returns, up from 38% in Feb 2020. Fashion retailers are most likely to be generous with their returns policies, with 75% offering them for free in March 2022.
In Narvar’s Returns Benchmarks Report (2021), we found that while all Fortune 50 retailers cover return shipping costs, only 45% of omnichannel retailers and 22% of D2C retailers do so.
63% of the Top 500 retailers are now allowing in-store returns for online purchases.
Want more detail? Read the full DeliveryX Europe Top500 2022 Report.