What's driving the future of delivery? Consumer demands or urban planning?

By Ben Nowlan on 12th December 2018

Today on Whiteboard Wednesday Ben will be answering a couple of killer questions that were left unanswered from a logistics panel a little while back. 

1. Is delivery driven by demand from the consumer in terms of service type, or is the service driving the demand?

2. Do consumers want same day delivery because they can rather than because they need it? 

3. What is the role of urban planning and real estate within same day logistics?

Watch or read the transcript below.

Hi, welcome to Whiteboard Wednesday, back again for another edition.

And today we're going to do it a little bit differently, we're going to go through a couple of questions that I received as part of a panelist in a logistics event today. I'm going to read them out and give you some brief answers.

The first question I've also written up on the board, it was about the Catch 22 of delivery. Is it driven by demand from the consumer in terms of service type, or is the service driving the demand?

The answer really isn't as simple as it sounds, because where does it? And ultimately for the independent retailer, the bar has been set, is how I feel. We know that those big online giants are giving great experience, and some of the really forward advanced independent retailers are giving great experience. So, that pressure to compete for consumer mind share and conversion at checkout through multiple delivery choice and having a great post store experience has been set, whether or not the consumer actually wants it. 

Now, of course, the research is also showing that over 70% of customers in the UK do want and will pay more for same day delivery, but only up to 21% of retailers are offering it. So, it's a bit of both. Retailers, you don't have a choice. Whether it's coming from the consumer or from the market pressure, you have to offer it. That's the first question.

The second one is, is there an argument that consumers want same day on all goods because they can, rather than because they need it? Will there be separation between goods ... what we want, and when we need them delivered?

Again, I think we are confusing right now the ability to have something delivered really fast, versus I'll get it when I want. I think the market generally is evolving to getting goods delivered at a time that is convenient for you, but this still comes back to the ability for a retailer to be able to offer that solution. Offer choice at checkout, offer same day delivery. Offer to nominate a time slot, same day, next day, whenever they are. Offer a free delivery choice, which we're going to go to in a future Whiteboard Wednesday. Where does free delivery fit in for retailers

And so one more question that was asked today was actually talking about the role of urban planning and real estate in same day logistics. And it was a really good question, and ultimately the answer is we all need to work together. Urban planning is critical to solve consumers increasing demand for same day or express logistics. And obviously more online sales mean more deliveries coming. So, we're going to be looking talked about how logistics companies can work together. We're going to be looking at some really great innovations from tech companies that will be driving the market rather than property companies trying to meet the demand.

And this is examples of imagine companies like WeWork coming into the commercial and retail markets, driving tech and on demand needs for renting spaces versus big properties renting out 10 year leases. That was some of the trends that were coming out, and some of the answers today.

Hopefully this has been helpful for you today, me sharing some of the discussion points.

Thank you, and tune in for the next one.


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