What logistics trends can we expect to impact peak this year?

Black Friday 2014 caught industry by surprise in terms of size and scale, but it gave us a precedent to work to in 2015. A new trend is the 'Black Friday period', with many retailers extending their campaigns over several days or the full week leading up to it – and announcing their intention to do so beforehand – so we had a good idea of the shape that peak would take.

The insight delves into the logistics side of the influences behind the improved performance in 2015, as well as areas where we might see an enhanced retailer focus in 2016. 

Find out more about: 

  • 3 reasons why performance was better in 2015
  • 3 things to look out for in 2016
  • Our members’ predictions on logistics trends for 2016 

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Our members’ predictions on logistics trends for 2016:

Jason Inwood, MD, Woodway UK Ltd: “A key trend we’re seeing is an increase in demand for reusable packaging. The increase in online orders over peak inevitably leads to an increase in returns and if these are not handled correctly the cost to a business can be significant. Ensuring packaging is robust enough to avoid damages before it reaches the customer is vital but equally important is providing packaging that can be easily re-used by the consumer to return undamaged items in one piece, enabling retailers to re-sell the item. This, of course, has to be balanced with a perception of over-packaging which in this modern age of social media can be a major PR disaster if not achieved.”

Nick Williams, senior software engineer, Conveyor Networks: “Communication and keeping promises will be key in peak 2016. Online shoppers want convenience matched with the certainty of receiving the product when it is promised. For effective logistics this translates into real time communication from the warehouse to various parties – to stores and customers so that they know when to expect deliveries and to carriers so they can schedule capacity accordingly. Therefore increased value will come from being able to gather and send real time data to internal and external interfaces (cloud based or otherwise) improving accuracy and speeding up processes.”

Andrew Hill, Commercial Director, Electio: “Retailers need to get personal with their peak management. Our Black Friday 2015 survey found differences in customers’ delivery demands, depending on gender, age and region. Not everyone expects next day delivery, especially if the price is right. Returns have an impact on success in peak ecommerce but many retailers are failing to include returns in their sales strategy or provide clear and accurate policy information. Retailers must listen to and communicate with their customers and carriers better. They can use technology to tailor the offering according to demand, to maximise loyalty and effectiveness. One size does not fit all.”