Jeremy Vernon continues to share in detail on the final part of the delivery component in ecommerce, which affects customer services, looking into the packaging, where it plays an important role for brands to make the transition from the past retail relationship into this new world of e-commerce; the integrations with the couriers for best delivery service for your customers and your business, innovations in delivery that drives your ecommerce performance to serve your customers and gorw your business.
The Ecommerce Uncovered Podcast is a behind-the-scenes look at what makes ecommerce a success in today’s ever-growing and continually changing online world.
The podcasts look to uncover the secrets of ecommerce success, so you can learn and apply to your own online business.
Brought you by the Co-founders of Core Fulfilment, one of the UK’s leading ecommerce fulfilment service providers, Paul Burns and Jeremy Vernon.
Jeremy Vernon: Hi, Jeremy here. Welcome back to Delivery Part 2. Obviously, in the last episode we’re talking how important delivery was for the ecommerce experience. I went through some of the options, really that you would have as a retailer offers your customers. It’s really depending honestly, what they’re looking. It could be convenience. It’s could be speed of delivery, something that works for them, if they’re not going to be in. So, not delivered to home, but somewhere else. So, we’re really looked at all the various options, not an exhaustive list, definitely not. But really just touched on the types of options that you have, everything from Royal Mail to biggest carrier for parcels in the UK through the DPD, the most expensive, but also the best service around. Then you’ve got the likes of Yodel, Hermes, UK Mail, really, mid-range next day and 2 days to 3 days couriers, depending on again what service you’re looking for from them. Then through the more innovative options those being, things like the InPost Lockers, CollectPlus and things like Doddle Shops. So, if you miss episode 6, which is Part 1 of Delivery, please go back and re-listen to that, which we go through all of those in much greater detail. But I really wanted today to really concentrate on the bits that we didn’t really have time to go through. So, the elements today, I really want to talk about packaging, the integrations that you have with the couriers, what you can and can’t sent and what’s next for delivery, what innovations are we seeing in delivery.
Let’s kick off with packaging. It might seem quite an obvious thing to talk about. But packaging can be the difference between getting the product there in perfect condition versus not. Obviously, that from a customer experience perspective is not great, and obviously then potentially having to send out products again. Obviously, for product margin wise, you’re not getting first time delivery, perfect delivery every time. So, packaging is really important to make sure you get that right. Cardboard boxes and cardboard wraps have to be the most popular choice. But again, we see all the time, these need to be appropriate to what’s inside. A wrap for example, something you see quite a lot with the likes of Amazon. You will see the sort of frustration free packaging, the zip undo of the wraps. It’s very easy to get into the product. But those wraps really have helped much smaller items. So, obviously, I guess really they started with things like the books from Amazon. So, really, really tested the books. Make sure that they could get through the courier networks without any damage whatsoever. But now, those wraps have been innovated into all sorts of shapes, all sorts of sizes, and very, very popular for most reasonably shaped products. So, anything as we said from books, obviously things like text or iPads, tablets, even larger things like probably smaller laptops can now go into that type of wrap. Also as well from a retailer’s perspective, very, very quick to pack as well. So, as long as you’ve got the appropriate size wraps for the products that you’ve got, very quick to wrap, very secure, and very much look after the product during the whole process of delivery. Then you’ve got boxes.
Again, with boxes, it really depends on what you’re sending. Again, boxes can come in different strengths. You have like different strengths of the cardboard. You can have the double walled boxes. You can have single walled boxes. It really just depends on sort of size, and weight, and the shape of products within the box, the more air you have in the box around what you’re actually packaging, any more void fill that you have, the greater chance that something will get damaged inside or at least by the time it gets to your customer, it will look like it’s not in the best condition. Then you’ve got options there that the customer might go, it appears to be damaged, I won’t sign for it, or if it’s a sign service for example, they won’t sign for it, because it’s potentially damaged, even though it might not be, but because the box looks a bit battered, they are not going to accept the parcel, or they come back to you and say, look, it didn’t arrive particularly well. It looks like it’s been battered. I want a new product or such thing. So, this is why the packaging is so, so important. Get it right, and it should arrive as perfect as when you sent it.
So, as I said with boxes, it depends on the weight. For heavier products, you really need to look at things like double walled boxes, of high strength. But obviously, you just need to bear in mind, as I said in part 1, about 11 times a package is handled between you sending it to the courier and obviously the delivery. So, as we said, goes on the conveyors. It goes on sorters. It goes in the back of several vans to be picked up, put down, can be dropped. So, all these things, you’ve got to make sure that the packaging that you use is appropriate. So, boxes and wraps, varying different variations within that. But make sure they are appropriate to what you’re sending. Then other options, obviously, if you send stuff like clothing, so lighter stuff that typically doesn’t get as damaged as easily, mailer bags are a great option. So, we see this a lot with clothing. Again, very cheap from a retailer’s perspective, very quick to pack. usually, they have their own sort of sticky fold over slips, so that you can easily close it up and seal it. Obviously, very quick for pack as well. So, for clothing or softer, smaller items, maybe bedding and things like that, towels, you can use mailer bags, which are perfect and quick. As long as they are strong enough, they will get through the networks no problem whatsoever and will get to your customer in really good condition. As I said, you really got to bear in mind the number of times things are handled, plus the fact that what they are going on and what they are going through automation, vans, and things like that. So, if it’s very delicate, if it’s prone to getting damaged, then boxes, wraps, those such things are an absolute must.
There has been a lot of innovation in packaging, as I mentioned, you’ve got what Amazon call, frustration free packaging. It’s obviously all about convenience as is everything with delivery. But that’s where you get the zip unlock for these wraps, make it very quick to undo the package when it arrives, so it’s not having to get scissors to cut it open and potentially damaging what’s inside. We’re seeing lots and lots of this. Obviously, then you get the wraps that are different sizes for different size products. But one thing that’s obviously always good certainly when you think about the products that you’re sending is, will it go through the letterbox. Really from a courier’s perspective, first time delivery is pretty much what they want to achieve each and every time. It doesn’t happen. But if they can get first time deliveries high as possible, then that’s an absolute win for them. So, if your product is small enough, not everybody’s are. But if it is small enough and it can go into a flat wrap style box that can go through the letterbox. Then that opens up a whole lot of different options for you, certainly in the terms of delivery options that you can use. You might not need a sign for service for example. You can just use a track. That makes it cheaper for you. It just means then, if it goes through the letterbox, much, much higher percentage of first time delivery success, and you can get that through to your customer much quicker. Obviously, if it can’t go through a letterbox and your customer isn’t in, then you’ve also got the hassle of either courier tries for a second or third time, or alternatively, your customers having to go out to the local post office or local depot and get that product. So, there is a big consideration really with packaging, whether your product can go through letterboxes or not.
One really interesting innovation in packaging that I saw recently was a wine company called Garçon Wines. They have developed a new plastic wine bottle, which is actually flat. So, it goes through a letterbox, which if you think about obviously wine delivery, there’s a lot of challenges around it.
You’re transporting liquids.
Typically glasses involved.
So, those 2 couriers aren’t particularly comfortable with. Then obviously the other fact that a single bottle obviously multiples, it wouldn’t be the case. But for a single bottle, well, that’s not going to go through any letterboxes. So, you obviously need either to get the homeowner in or to leave safe now. Obviously, the plastic bottle that’s flat is designed typically to go through a letterbox, which is a really interesting innovation. Haven’t really seen it, take up that much. Garçon Wines are obviously promoting it quite heavily. But just thought going from innovations in packaging, that’s one that we’ve seen recently, which is quite different to what you would normally see.
That actually leads me very nicely onto what you can and can’t send through couriers. So, restricted and dangerous or prohibited goods. As with most couriers, each one of them has slightly different views on this. So, again, if you have something, that could be considered restricted or dangerous, always worth checking with the carrier, that you’re looking to use, and ask the question. Just ask them whether it’s something that they would take, whether it’s something they would take with or without insurance. Some may take it. But they may say, yeah, actually we’ll take it but we won’t offer any form of insurance against damage or loss due to the nature of the goods. So, always worth checking with the courier first in terms of their view and appetite for taking up products.
So, just what is the difference between dangerous goods, prohibited goods and restricted goods? The dangerous goods is the general category. So, this isn’t any item or substance capable of posing a risk to health, safety, property or the environment. So, this will include a huge amount of products that you can send through carriers. But obviously potentially, there are restrictions to how many or how or anything else that you send with them. So, that dangerous goods is the sort of overall list of things that may or may not be able to go through the courier network. Prohibited items, they are ones that never can be sent. Typical examples of those would be explosives, or corrosive liquids. So, these will just never be sent. If you need to send these, you would probably have to use a very specialist couriers, if not pallet couriers and have all sorts of stringent packaging requirements, transport requirements and everything like that. So, certainly from a courier perspective, explosives, corrosive liquids, anything really serious like that would be classed as a prohibited item. So, won’t be sending those through typical courier networks.
Restricted items, those items listed as dangerous, but can be sent subject to certain requirements. Those requirements may be against packaging, the volume that you can actually send any one time. The quantity and, or potential labelling requirements. So, it’s not an exhaustive list, but here’s some examples of what are considered dangerous goods. Now, again we’ve said, these potentially can be sent. But there may be restrictions against how you send them or how you package them. So, things like aerosols, alcohol, we’ve just mentioned. We found some couriers are far more anti-alcohol for example than others. But there are lots of online alcohol sellers whether that be someone like Laithwaites or someone like that that have no issue. But again, they found a courier that they are happy to work with and happy to work with alcohol knowing there’s liquids involved, alcohol involved, and also potentially glass as well. So, worth chatting to the couriers about this, asbestos.
The biggest one probably that’s a big headache I think for a lot of people at the moment are batteries. Now, batteries, you’ve got 2 main types of batteries. You’ve got lithium and you’ve got alkaline. So, the difference between those 2 sorts of lithium typically, is lithium ion, the types of batteries you’ll find in laptops, phones, tech, that sort of tech. Then alkaline batteries will be your typical batteries of AAs, triple As, 9 volts, that type of thing. Now there are restrictions to how you can send both of those types of batteries. It goes down to whether it’s things like contained in the equipment, sent with the equipment, not sent with equipment. So, for example, not sent with equipment would be where you’re buying or purchasing a replacement battery, let’s say for a laptop or phone if it’s swappable. There’s various different restrictions that you can and can’t do with those. Very strict labelling requirements that you have with those. The power rating of the batteries is important. So, a really, really big area. Again, depending on where you’re sending these, if they are going on a plane, there’s even more restrictions that you need to be aware of. So, batteries, both lithium and alkaline, really big, I think grey area, certainly there’s lots, and lots, and lots of rules and regulations about it, and probably too much to a certain extent. But really worth, if you are sending out a tech, or if you’re sending phones or all laptops with anything with a lithium battery, really worth speaking to your carrier and going. This is it. This is the rating. Typically, it’s about the amount of lithium in the battery. You can give them all the tech spec that’s relevant to the battery. They will then tell you what you need to do in terms of labelling requirements, packaging requirements, and typically the quantity of batteries or items you can send in any one package. Really, that’s down to fire risks. We’ve obviously heard the horror stories that Samsung had with the Note 7 that could potentially catch fire. So, this really is designed around that fire risk that batteries pose, certainly when they are heated UHP to extreme temperatures. So, all of this is really designed to make sure that the batteries are not in dangerous quantities or certainly are packaged and labelled correctly.
Other dangerous goods that are more obvious, drugs. Okay, yeah, I can understand that. Explosives, we’ve mentioned that. Then there’s flammable liquids. Sounds obvious, but that can include things such as nail varnish, perfumes and aftershaves. So, really a lot we’ve seen certainly carriers being really negative against stuff like this. Again, obviously there’s the safety requirements here. There’s reasons why they don’t want to be carrying this. We’ve really struggled with things like perfumes and aftershaves. We don’t currently deal with any of those, sending those through carriers just because it’s difficult to find, certainly the main couriers that you typically work with to have any sort of appetite to want to send things like nail varnish, perfumes, and aftershaves. Other stranger dangerous goods that the people list are things like live creatures. I suppose I can understand that. But dangerous goods, I guess it’s not common sense really to send something like live creatures through. Lottery tickets, I presume because it’s cash, the security concerns about that. But that is classed as something that cannot be sent.
Sharp objects obviously. They are protecting the delivery drivers here, the automation, the people within the sort operation taking parcels and things off conveyor belts and off machinery. Again, sharp objects, there’s been some relatively recent restriction on things like knives being sent through, especially bought online and sent through the post. Obviously, there’s other things such as kitchen knives, normal knives, cutlery, scissors, of course. These probably can be sent, because again, as long as they are appropriately packaged and appropriately wrap to make sure that they aren’t going to pose any threat to anyone that’s picking up that parcel, and also if that parcel gets damaged, obviously not intentionally. But even if it gets damaged, dropped, something like that, you’ve got to make sure that no sharp edges or anything like that would then protrude from the parcel. So, these will be restricted. But again, you would need to speak to the courier really to say, okay, I want to send scissors or cutlery. What do I need to do to be able to do that? Cutlery typically would come in a presentation box. So, that would be fine as long as that presentation box is of good enough quality. That wouldn’t really cause an issue. But things like scissors might not do. So, you would have to do something in terms of preparation of that going into an outer that that then suitable to be sent through the network.
The carriers are getting far more sophisticated with identifying parcels with dangerous goods contained. Similar technology really to what we see now in airport and airport scanners. They can pick up liquids. They can pick up aerosols in packages, and obviously our sort of luggage as we go through the airport. They can identify that. That would be then quarantined. They would potentially open it, inspect and then potentially either send it back to you or alternatively get the authorities involved for example, if you try to put it on a plane. Chances are the civil aviation authority would be involved. So, quite serious consequences of not getting this bit right in terms of the products that you’re sending through the networks.
Common sense really prevails when it comes to what you send through the networks. I think there’s very, very big areas that you can fore foul quite easily, and as I mention, batteries probably, is, the biggest, certainly one of the most contentious elements to sending things through carriers at the moment, and something you just really need to educate yourself and be aware off. Various different courses and things like that you can go on to make sure that you have a trained individual within the business to be able to know to package, send, quantities and all those such things around about batteries. Things like obviously as I mentioned nail varnishes and perfumes catch people out as well, because they don’t really consider the fact that they are flammable liquids. So, as I said, common sense should prevail here, where you can fore foul this reasonably easy without really knowing.
So, in part 1, we covered all the various different carrier options that you have. But how do you then offer those to your customers? Essentially, that’s through some form of integration with the carrier. Let’s look at the various different integrations that you can have. So, first and foremost, direct integration. So, your own WMS, your warehouse management system would directly integrate with someone like Royal Mail or DPD or Hermes, whoever. Let’s go to Royal Mail for example. They have very different ways to integrate or to use their service. In fact, it’s probably worth noting that DMO as they call it, dispatch manager online, we’re in April 2018. That actually comes to an end at the end of this month. It’s been replaced by their new click and drop service. But other sort of ways to integrate with Royal Mail, there’s various, but net dispatch is one of them. That was bought by Royal Mail a few years ago. There’s some changes going on there I believe. Store feeder is another one that is owned by Royal Mail. Intersoft was acquired by Royal Mail a few years ago. So, there’s various different ways that you can have a direct integration from your own WMS system through to the carrier. That’s obviously just Royal Mail we talked about there. So, all the other carriers have their own integrations. Typically, they use what’s called an API integration, just a sort of modern way of passing information. Your system, your WMS should have an equivalent API on your side. Whichever carrier you’re looking to use will have an API integration, so you can get your system to integrate with theirs and pass that information through seamlessly when you’re processing your orders.
But what happens if you either can’t do it for multiple carriers or for example if you don’t use a WMS or an e-com platform that has any form of integration or certain integration direct with the carriers. There’s various options that you can have. Effectively, this is a piece of software or a cloud platform that sits between your system and does all the sort of integration for the carriers and the hard work on that side. So, there’s probably depending on your volumes, there’s various different options that you can have. The higher level, the enterprise version really is the likes of MetaPack, GFS, Parcel Station, Parcel Hub, Sorted Pro, all those sort of things, really will help any business that’s got reasonable volumes to integrate once on your side, and then for multiple carrier options, and do the carrier integrations on that side. So, really gives you access to multiple carriers with one single integration on your side. So, removing the headache for you.
Other benefits really you would have a single account, and typically a single invoice for all of your courier traffic, no matter which courier you’re using. These courier management systems will also manage all the different labelling requirements. Now, you might print on the same size label, but a label for Yodel will differ quite significantly from a label from DPD for example. So, these courier management systems will print you the appropriate label, how the carrier wants it, the formats, where everything is, and make sure that you’ve got the label right every time, again, removing the headache for you. All the ones typically like MetaPack can help you save money as well. So, they can route parcels through the cheapest possible delivery depending on where they are sending it, possibly the weight of the product that you’re sending, and where it’s going in the country.
You also get the benefit that some of these systems can also make sure that you get the cheapest delivery methods. So, for example, MetaPack, you can make sure, depending on the speed of service that you’re looking, potentially the size of the parcel and the weight of the parcel that you’re sending. You can use something like Metapack to make sure that you’re sending that on the most cost-effective service depending what scenario you want that to be. Other benefit, is, they produce automated CM22, CM23 information, and commercial invoices. So, you’re sending products outside of the EU, exporting products, those types of things. There’s certain requirements that you would need to meet to get through customs, all those sorts of things. So, these systems again will automate that process to make sure you’re not having to either manually produce things like the CM22 or the commercial invoices. These will just do it for you. So, at the point of pack, all of these things will be catered for. It’s very seamless and great really for giving you option with one single integration on your side. So, very much less of a headache for you guys.
These larger consolidators can also provide you with courier performance reports or analytics, which is not really just from your parcels, but from the whole sort of information they have and all the other parcels that they put through the networks. What this allows you to do is obviously look at which are the best performing carriers by region potentially. So, you can see if you have a particular region that doesn’t work well for you. You can’t get great delivery, you can have a look at the performance analytics and have a look at potentially a better courier that works better in that particular region. So, quite useful, and obviously that’s much wider information from just your parcels as well. Enterprise carrier management really is for larger scale retailers that are sending reasonable volumes. Now, if you’re not quite at that stage, there are other options that are simpler options.
One of the other options is something like as I mentioned before, net dispatch. Net dispatch really is more of a cloud and integration platform. So, this is effectively a tool to give you the ability to offer multiple carriers, does all the technical bit for you. But you then have the individual relationships with the different carriers. Typically, you would be invoice separately from all of the different ones. So, you would still have your own account with DPD, with Yodel, with UK Mail, and receive invoices from management. But net dispatch can sit there as an integration platform that’s cloud based that allows you to offer all the multiple carriers to your customer, and takes the headache away again, a little bit like the enterprise carrier management guys from you of the technical integration from your side, from your e-commerce platform.
Finally, you have the smaller consolidators, or the sort of delivery comparison websites. So, things like Parcel2Go, Parcel Monkey, ParcelHero, My Parcel Delivery. These will have limited integrations. I mean typically Parcel2Go for example, they’ve got a smart send shipping solution, which is designed for eBay and marketplace power sellers. But anyone can use this if they just want to send one parcel or more. So, it is an option, but very much for the smaller retailer. It gives you that integration possibility if you’re selling on eBay or Amazon or something like that as a power seller.
One final option. Depending on what e-commerce platform you’re using is a form of plugin on your platform. So, Shopify for example in the Shopify App Store, if you look at the shipping category in the app store, there are hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of different apps that do slightly different things regarding shipping. There may be something in there that you could use as a form of integration with the carriers. So, there are lots and lots of options from the sort of enterprise level, for high volume stuff down to the one parcel and up with the smaller consolidators. One thing to bear in mind with all of this is just offering one option for your customers probably is very much outdated now. Your customers want choice, choice of speed, choice of cost, choice of convenience. So, this is where integrations and these various forms of integration really do pay off. We talked about options like CollectPlus in part 1, being able to integrate things like that into your store, that’s more of an on-platform development rather than an integration that I just talked about here. So, if you are looking to offer that, that’s probably something far more technical. You would need probably to go to your developer or go back to your platform to see if there is a plugin that can help integrate something like CollectPlus or certainly a parcel shop type solution.
Now, if you’re looking to add something like a CollectPlus style option as well, there will be a little bit more development and integration required. That’s pretty much development on your e-commerce platform, because if you think about it, at the point of purchase, the customer has to choose the delivery address, which is not their home address. Now, that might be close to work. That might be close to their home. You don’t know that at that stage. So, the development requires a little bit more complex than the integrations that we’ve just talked about. So, if you are looking to add a CollectPlus style option, some of the certainly, enterprise level management guys will probably offer either a plugin or some code that will work with your particular platform. But that’s probably something your developer would have to do to be able to integrate that into your site.
So, what’s next for delivery? What sort of innovations are we seeing? It’s worth thinking about what is it, the carriers want to actually achieve. Well, first time delivery is their main objective. Some of these carriers will attempt up to 3 deliveries if you’re not in first or second time. I can understand why first-time delivery is absolutely what they want to achieve. They can make it far more efficient. They can obviously make it more profitable for them. So, really good to understand what they are trying to achieve as well as obviously what we want as either retailers or consumers. Things that I think we’ll see more of is things like consent to leave safe. That will help with first time delivery. But what that does do? It passes to the liability over to the customer. So, we see this with the inflight options with DPD, which we mentioned. You can via a text message obviously say leave in a safe place, nominate what that safe place is. But you are told that that then means that should something happen to that parcel, liability is no longer with either DPD nor is it with the retailer. So, obviously if you say leave it next to my wheelie bin or on my doorstep, and it isn’t there when you get home for example, then by nominating a safe place, you’ve withdrawn the liability of both DPD and the retailer. So, worth noting that. But again, it’s really about convenience for the customer. Signature is another thing I think we’ll see more and more of, especially if you’re sending desirable or high value items that that signature or proof of delivery really just help to sort of close the loop on the tracking.
So, what innovations are we seeing for delivery? Well, the big one has to be the delivery drones. I’m quite skeptical about these. I just don’t know how they are really going to work on a mass level. Both Amazon and also DPD now are both openly developing a delivery drone. DPD are stating that the biggest challenge for them is the legislation side of it, and that the technology is ready to go. Amazon really from a marketing perspective is really just showcasing how it works and that they are ready. But just from a practical perspective, I just can’t see how this can be offered on a vast scale. I may well be proven wrong. But I just cannot see the drones working. There’s lots and lots of issues you can think about that just wouldn’t work, doesn’t seem to work. I can understand in one off scenarios. So, for example, if they were delivering something like really urgent deliveries, so for medical reasons potentially. I get that it can work more isolated deliveries or even in things like natural disasters getting aid to somewhere that’s cut off or something like that. Well, we’re seeing that now. We can see how drones can really benefit something like that. But for day to day mass delivery of parcels, I just can’t see how the drones will work. But I guess time will tell with that one.
The other sort of innovations to that, but probably a little bit more practical is the AGVs or the autonomous ground vehicles. These tend to be the sort of like a remote-control vehicle. I’ve seen a couple. They look like a moving box. Obviously, they will have a parcel inside. Again, the practicality of these, the securities of these, pretty much there’s lots of question marks for me whether this will ever be brought into mass delivery. But again, time will tell. These things are developing all the time. Technology is changing all the time. So, we’ll just have to see. I think probably the most realistic innovation that we’re seeing is the self-driving autonomous delivery vehicles themselves. Again, lots of question marks on how it actually works in reality, how do the parcels get from the van to the house or to the delivery address, lots and lots of things that haven’t really been probably worked out yet. But I think certainly autonomous vehicles, we’re seeing them now with the Teslas and everything else. That’s probably the most realistic of innovations that we’re seeing specific to delivery.
So, the more sort of practical innovations and developments that we’re seeing, tracking. Al the time, we’re seeing different apps and different ways of tracking real time. Mentioned it with the DPD predict service, real time information of where your delivery driver is, where you are on his round, and the inflight options that you can have. So, you can change that delivery. You can swap out tomorrow or you can have them leave it in a safe place, that type of thing. Lots and lots of other carriers will catch up with that. We’re seeing the likes of UK Mail trying that as well. So, that’s one area that we’ll see quite a big development with other carriers. Obviously, I’m sure DPD are working on the next level of innovation from their perspective as well. So, it remains to be seen where they are going with that. One other area that we’ll see some developments I think is in weekend deliveries. The carriers do offer weekend deliveries. But I think we’re going to see more options and certainly cheaper options for weekend deliveries. I think when you look back at their achievements of trying to get the first-time delivery, for anyone that works sort of Monday to Friday, the first time delivery probability is much higher in the weekends than it would be in the week. So, I think weekend deliveries, we’re going to see more options, and also possibly evening deliveries as well. If you think about the first time deliver objective that the couriers have, then evening deliveries and weekend deliveries will really help with that.
Finally, I think we’re going to see more competition. It remains to be seen how Amazon roll out their carrier service, whether they do ultimately provide their Amazon logistics for non-Amazon customers. But I’m sure there’s going to be increased competition, both on the price point and obviously on the delivery service perspective. So, we should see more and more competition. That may mean that we see more carriers fail. We obviously saw that with City Link a few years ago. It will be interesting to see if Amazon do offer Amazon logistics to other retailers for delivery to their customers. Amazon is the one to watch here for innovations and delivery. They are tried the Amazon key, which is allowing access to the Amazon driver, where you have a smart lock, and they can access your property and drop off the delivery inside your home, and obviously close that door and it locks. They have also recently acquired ring.com, which is the doorbell that has a camera on it. You obviously have an app as well on your phone. So, you can answer the doorbell remotely from your phone. Amazon bought that relatively recently for I think reported $1 billion. Rumour has it that that has been acquired to help with the innovations in delivery, access into properties, and also access into I think properties where there’s complications. So, for example, blocks of flats. If they can get access to blocks of flats that makes the whole delivery process far easier for the courier themselves. Everyone has this challenge. So, it’s obviously not just Amazon. But I believe that acquisition of Ring is all trying to help with that whole process. So, it would be interesting to see how those innovations from Amazon get rolled out, whether it’s just for themselves, or whether ultimately they offer those out for other people to use, which is obviously what they are currently trialling in the US.
So, that was delivery. Even though, that’s spread out over 2 episodes, we really only scratched the surface of all the options and everything that you need to consider when offering delivery solutions for your customers. I’m sure we’ll deep dive into lots more of these in future episodes. But I hope you’ve enjoyed that overview of what options you have as a retailer. I’m sure we’ll keep coming back to these different topics and the elements that we’ve covered in future episodes. So, thank you for tuning in. Coming up next week, we have an interview with a London based female fashion brand, who transformed their business when they moved from their physical store to an online store. So, please tune in next week for that. Until then, thank you for listening.