It takes extraordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things, and the successful individuals profiled in this year’s Retail Week Etail Power List, have all achieved outstanding results. I’m delighted to congratulate them all.

It takes extraordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things, and the successful individuals profiled in this year’s Retail Week Etail Power List, have all achieved outstanding results. I’m delighted to congratulate them all.

In the ecommerce sector, we continue to experience times of rapid change and rising challenges. Operating in a fiercely competitive market, etailers are seeking to build brands that consumers trust and to deliver an experience that ‘works’ for the customer.

The consumer’s growing expectation is for ‘at my time’ fulfilment. Not just to an address of choice, such as ‘home’ or ‘work’, or in-store (click and collect), but now to a fuel station, the corner shop, or even a neighbour’s house. Mastering returns too, has long been the process that makes or breaks the customer’s experience; for whom convenience matters just as much as cost.

This evolution in fulfilment means etailers need to contemplate service enhancements beyond ‘faster’ and ‘cheaper’. The ecommerce supply chain – and logistics service providers – must deliver flexible solutions against increasing levels of unpredictability and variation. You can find more thoughts on this challenge here.

Ultimately, for etailers, winning this battle is about allowing fulfilment to be a premium experience that underpins customer loyalty to the brand, engaging with customers and allowing them to influence fulfilment design.

My congratulations again to the successful individuals on this year’s Retail Week Etail Power List – cause for celebration indeed!

  • Stephen Ashton, Chief operating officer at Unipart Consumer Logistics Unipart Logistics