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Event Report: Retailers convene at DELIVER 2022

By Miya Knights, Publisher | Wednesday June 15 2022 | UPDATED 16.06.22

Retail Technology magazine discovers the latest ecommerce and logistics trends at popular European event

Ecommerce and logistics technologies are garnering more retail interest than ever in the wake of a number of recent global disruptive events.

This was evident at the DELIVER Europe 2022, held last week in Amsterdam. The event saw many senior retail leaders and technology suppliers share best practice on emerging trends.

Marisa Selfa, chief executive of international sailing wear company, North Sails, set the agenda with her keynote (pictured), which focused on a fundamental concern: sustainability.

Selfa told attendees: “Fashion is one of the least sustainable industries in the world.” But she added that the current North Sails collection is made up of 95% sustainable materials.

The brand is reducing the amount of water and eliminating toxic dyes used in their manufacturing processes, as well as reviewing its supplier code of conduct.

Doing more with less 

In addition to driving strategic product lifecycle management (PLM) efficiencies for greater sustainability, micro-fulfillment centre (MFC) systems also featured heavily across the event agenda.

“MFCs bring the product closer to the customer,” commented Remy Malchirand, executive vice president of Southern European sales for warehouse robotics provider, Exotec.

During a session exploring the balance between human labour and machine automation, Malchirand added: “Labour shortages and customer expectations are the biggest drivers.”

Georgia Leybourne, Manhattan Associates’ senior director of international marketing, said that warehouse management systems (WMS) are emerging as essential in managing resource and meeting rapid delivery expectations.

“To have man and machine working in harmony together in the warehouse requires a centralised WMS,” she explained.

Delivering accurately at speed

Many retail attendees agreed that reconciling sustainability efforts and greater efficiency requirements is made more challenging with rising customer expectations over delivery speeds.

But Harry’s, the men’s personal care direct-to-consumer (DTC) brand, was on hand to discuss how it is using aftersales services and delivery tracking to boost satisfaction levels.

Darren Major, customer experience manager for the retailer’s women’s brand, Flamingo, said: “We give the post-purchase experience parity with introducing you to the products.”

After moving distribution centres during the pandemic, Major said issues with deliveries pushed the company to be more proactive in managing customers’ delivery expectations.

This led it to adopt ecommerce shipment tracking platform, AfterShip, which allowed it to send out, “we noticed your delivery will be late” messages to mitigate any customer disappointment.

Andrew Chan, AfterShip co-founder and chief marketing officer, said on-time delivery rates were often as low as 35%, but that few retailers could actually track it.

“We call the customer delivery experience, ‘the Amazon bar,’” he said. “But many merchants don’t get tracking data and, if the merchant can’t track a delivery, the customer can’t either.”

Major added: “The ability to follow orders through to delivery means we have greater levels of accuracy. This can also improve the customer experience, which is invaluable for retention.”

DELIVER Europe will return to Amsterdam, 7-8 June 2023.

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