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Achieving excellence in light of the pandemic and Brexit

In March 2020, COVID suddenly enforced an unplanned peak on the delivery network as the UK entered its first lockdown. But the surge in online volume continued, even after lockdown was lifted, culminating in a huge Black Friday and peak period.

Now, as 2021 brings a new phase of the pandemic, expert speakers at the IMRG Delivery Summit assess the changes – both to volume and process – bought about by the twin disrupters of COVID and Brexit, to debate how operations are evolving in response to these challenges.

Through a mix of IMRG data presentations, retailer keynotes and panels, attendees will learn how to:

  • Build delivery propositions that are appropriate for future challenges and opportunities
  • Use delivery as a customer experience differentiator
  • Utilise delivery as a conversion driver
  • Optimise returns processes
  • Succeed in a post-pandemic business environment
  • Deal with the implications that Brexit bring to your organisation

Supported by:

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Theatre Sponsor - Scurri

09:30 - 09:40: Impacts of COVID and Brexit; and introduction to new online order index - Andy Mulcahy, Strategy and Insight Director, IMRG

What have been the main impacts of COVID and Brexit on online fulfilment, and which of them will be long-lasting? Plus an introduction to the new IMRG and Capgemini online order index.

09:40 - 09:50: Tax implications of Brexit with Olivia Gates, Tax Technology Solutions Manager EMEA at Avalara
What are the customs and duties implications of Brexit, what is the best approach for how this information is presented and what plans are in place to adjust tax rates across ROW markets to make up for losses over COVID?

09:50 - 10:05: Retail Keynote: Rachael Williams, Head of Supply Chain Development at Joules

How did Joules respond operationally to the dual challenges of the pandemic and Brexit, and what is their focus over the coming 12 months?

10:05 - 10:15: Click and collect evolution - Andy Mulcahy, Strategy and Insight Director, IMRG

How did C&C become such a big part of online fulfilment and, after the pandemic caused such disruption to established patterns, what is its future?

10:15 - 10:25: How are online order volumes correlating with sales revenue? - Andy Mulcahy, Strategy and Insight Director, IMRG
For the first time, IMRG have broken out an index focusing specifically on online order volumes, to run alongside the sales revenue. Do they correlate closely together and which parts of the year see the biggest gaps and why?

10:25 - 10:45: Panel: Dealing with higher volumes efficiently with Steve Sneath, Sales Director at Intersoft, Christophe Pecoraro, Managing Director, Europe at PFS and Josh Pitman, Managing Director at Priory Direct.
What are the challenges of processing massively-increased online volumes and how are businesses adapting to:

  • Challenges in warehousing and distribution
  • Shifts in the returns options customers use
  • Mitigating the likely negative environmental impact

10:45 - 10:55: Achieving Operational Excellence in the eCommerce boom and beyond with Rose Power, Head of Operations at Scurri
In this session, you will get a view of the current consumer sentiment based on the latest research, the solutions retailers are using to overcome challenges brought on by the pandemic, Brexit and increased online volumes and approaches for future-proofing business with operational excellence.

10:55 - 11:05: Which returns propositions are the most effective? Pt I - Matthew Walsh, Director of Data and Retail, IMRG
In a new study focussing on Returns, IMRG have looked at how retailers approach returns and which elements of their offer achieve the best results. In part 1 we will be revealing the market benchmarks for Returns across different product categories and for pureplay and multichannel retailers. Plus we’ll look at how retailers changed their returns policy during COVID.

11:05 - 11:20: What is the true cost of failed deliveries? Tracey Clifford, Account Director at Wincanton
IMRG have modelled multiple scenarios to come up with estimates as to how much failed deliveries cost industry – from a retailer, carrier and customer perspective. In this session, find out where the biggest losses are and how those costs have changed over recent years.

11:20 - 11:35: Retailer Q&A with Asda Logistics Services - Innovation in fulfilment and parcel services - Paul Anastasiou, Senior Director – Parcel Services and Logistics Technology
In this session, you will get a view of the operational developments Asda Logistics Services have been working on recently in order to service its customers in a rapidly-changing environment, plus future plans and innovations.

11:35 - 11:45: Building supply chain resilience for a post-COVID world with Simon Mardle, Senior Director, Retail, Distribution and Supply Chain operations at Capgemini
The pandemic has had a massive impact on consumer demand patterns and supply chains, with 88% of retailers facing disruptions and dramatically shifting the trend towards ecommerce. Learn how retailers are responding to the challenges faced and modifying their supply chains to prepare for the future.

11:45 - 11:55: Fast-forward to the All-Delivery Economy with Amy Goodberry, Senior Sales Executive at Metapack
This session will look at the delivery trends Metapack have seen since the pandemic began and we exited the EU, the challenges retailers are now facing, and raise some questions as to what ecommerce and online demand might look like in future to give some clues as to the steps retailers should be taking to prepare.

11:55 - 12:20: Panel: ‘Frictionless’ trade into Europe…and beyond? with panellists Matthew Robertson, Co-CEO at NetDespatch and Vichren Bisset, Sales Manager at Balkan eCommerce, Sarah Doran, Product Manager at Scurri and Ernest Lo, Executive Director, Singapore at AsiaPay
The experience of selling into the EU post-Brexit deal threw up a number of issues for businesses initially; where are we now?

  • What issues are businesses encountering post-Brexit
  • How can the issues be overcome?
  • Where are opportunities popping up?

12:20 - 12:30: How has Brexit influenced cross-border demand? - Andy Mulcahy, Strategy and Insight Director, IMRG
Looking at data in the IMRG Global-e Cross-Border Index, tracking online sales growth from UK retail sites to cross-border destinations, we will show how demand shifted as the Brexit deal came into force.

09:30 - 09:40: Which returns propositions are the most effective? Pt II – Matthew Walsh, Director of Data and Retail, IMRG
Part 2 of IMRGs new study into returns will reveal insights on how long customers usually take to return items and how that correlates to retailers policy durations. Plus, data on the difficult topic of multiple size orders will be revealed and we’ll be exploring how different payment methods will impact your return rate.

09:40 - 09:50: Opportunities in US, Canada and other markets with James Bright, Regional Sales Manager at Avalara
What are the chief considerations when looking to expand into the US and Canadian markets? How should businesses set up their supply chains and what are the tax implications of the strategy applied in various markets?

09:50 - 10:10: Retail Keynote - How we responded to the impacts of 2020 - Neil McLauchlan, Director UK Shipping and Logistics at eBay
The pandemic resulted in a huge surge of SMBs looking for ways to reach customers online, following the closure of their stores; find out how eBay adapted to this shift, how it influenced customer behaviour on site, and what the focus is over the coming 12 months.

10:10 - 10:20: Return to Sender: Reducing the Cost of Returns Fraud - Hannah Bates, UK Strategic Partnerships Manager at Forter
What percentage of returns are actually fraudulent? How should business leaders think about measuring the total cost of returns fraud, and reducing it?

10:20 - 10:30: Which returns propositions are the most effective? Pt III – Matthew Walsh, Director of Data and Retail, IMRG
In the final Part of IMRGs new Returns study, we’ll be comparing the different tactics and functionalities retailers employ on their websites to try and alleviate returns. The study will reveal the individual return rates of 30 retailers alongside their website propositions -providing insights into which measures help reduce returns.

10:30 - 10:50: Panel: What has happened to customer experience? with Laura Gee, Content Marketing Manager at ReBOUND Returns, Sean Sherwin-Smith, General Manager at HelloDone, Katie de Foubert, Business Development Manager at Carlton Packaging and Jon Nicholson, UK Sales Director at Royal Mail
The pandemic has been very disruptive, but there seems a good chance it will be bought under control in 2021; what will constitute the best experience for customers:

  • Speed and cost of delivery
  • The importance of clear communication
  • How will the doorstep experience evolve?

10:50 - 11:00: Where should retailers focus attention to improve environmental performance? with IMRG and Frances Fay, Head of Corporate Responsibility at Royal Mail
What do customers say about their perceptions of online retailers and their environmental performance? In this session we will reveal the results of a survey into attitudes and assess how retailers should respond and focus their attention.

11:00 - 11:10: How do retailers structure their delivery propositions? - Andy Mulcahy, Strategy and Insight Director, IMRG
IMRG have been tracking the websites of 300 retailers since the COVID outbreak. This session will look at which delivery and returns options they offer, and cross-reference with performance.

11:10 - 11:20: Consumer Home Delivery review with Aleksandra Panyukhina, Head of Events and Experiences at parcelLab

11:20 - 11:30: Why Ship from store matters with Mike Hayers, Country Manager - UK at ShipStation

11:30 - 11:45: Retailer Q&A with Decathlon – Why we offer 365-day returns - Charles-Emmanuel Nelis, Head of Digital at Decathlon UK
Find out the strategic reasons that underpin offering a long returns period to customers, the advantages from an acquisition and retention perspective, and the challenges involved.

11:45 - 12:00: Quickfire presentations: Optimising the channel mix - with panellists Nick Williams, Head of Strategic Partners & Product at Collect+ and Gagan Sangha, Marketing Associate at Consignor and Kevin Mofid, Head of Industrial and Logistics Research at Savills
The pandemic made some delivery options (such as C&C) less viable, while forcing retailers to quickly adapt elements of their distribution model:

  • Savills: Warehouse property market overview - With warehouse demand at sky high levels and the supply of warehouses decreasing what does this mean for online retailers?
  • The Click & Collect Evolution in Retail - In this presentation you gain insight into the pandemic’s effect on click & collect, how retailers can drive store footfall and utilize their stores as small DC’s and finally how click & collect will evolve following the pandemic.

12:00 - 12:15: Retail Q&A with Paz Khorana, Director of eCommerce Operations at Missguided & Jason Tavaria, CEO at InPost UK


12:15 - 12:25: Returning To A Green Future: How To Make Returns More Sustainable - Charlotte Monk-Chipman, Marketing Director at ReBOUND Returns
During this session, ReBOUND will be diving into how and why shopper mindsets have shifted to think more sustainability, whose responsibility it is to make returns more sustainable and practices retailers can adopt to make their returns more sustainable, without damaging the customer experience

12:25 - 12:35:
The highstreet opened up for the first time in 2021 last week- what was the impact for online retail? - Matthew Walsh, Director of Data and Retail, IMRG
Which sectors were affected most and what are the other lockdown release milestones to watch out for?

15:30 - 17:30: Directors Drinks Club - Invitation Only - Sponsored by Scurri
In this session Graham McCarthy, Business Development Representative at Scurri discusses leveraging data to maximise visibility and control of delivery operations while keeping the customer experience at heart. IMRG will also be sharing our industry leading insight whilst enjoying some well earned beverages after a challenging year in retail.

13:00 - 15:00: Directors Lunch - Invitation Only - Sponsored by Amazon Shipping and Avalara
Speakers include Nikhil Amin, Head of Commercial at Amazon Shipping UK, Olivia Gates, Sales Manager at Avalara and James Bright, Regional Sales Manager at Avalara.


Keynote Speakers

  • Charles-Emmanuel Nelis

    Charles-Emmanuel Nelis

    Head of Digital | Decathlon UK

  • Rachael Williams

    Rachael Williams

    Head of Supply Chain Development | Joules

  • Paul Anastasiou

    Paul Anastasiou

    Senior Director | Asda Parcel Services and Logistics Technology

  • Neil McLauchlan

    Neil McLauchlan

    Director UK Shipping and Logistics | eBay

  • Paz Khorana

    Paz Khorana

    Director of eCommerce Operations | Missguided

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Headline Sponsors:
  • Avalara
Event Sponsors:
  • Scurri
  • Amazon Shipping

Event Contributors:

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Event Date 22nd Apr 2021 to 22nd Apr 2021
Event Time 09:30 - 12:30 daily
Location Online

Headline Sponsor