Earlier this year the British public voted online shopping as the biggest technological development of the 21st century just ahead of internet banking, according to some research from E-ON.
Earlier this year the British public voted online shopping as the biggest technological development of the 21st century just ahead of internet banking, according to some research from E-ON. A third of those surveyed claim the ability to buy from websites rather than going into stores has had the biggest impact on their lives.
This research echoes Hermes’ own annual Parcel Deliveries Usage and Attitude Survey, which last year showed that online shopping in the UK, Germany and Russia, is likely to grow in two ways. Firstly, existing frequent shoppers will become heavier purchasers in the next 12 months and secondly, less frequent shoppers will increase their online purchasing as their familiarity increases with the internet.
This is great news for retailers, however, the continued growth of e-commerce means that the supply chain industry remains under constant pressure each year to maximise capacity. Only those carriers and retailers who are prepared to invest in order to meet the rising volumes will survive. Innovation is also key for retailers and carriers to be able to continue to satisfy the evolving needs of the increasingly demanding customer.
Earlier this month we formally opened our new purpose built, 15,000 square metre, state-of-the-art parcel distribution hub in Warrington. Designed to support our future growth, the £14 million hub has a capacity of around 550,000 parcels a day - almost three times that of Hermes’ previous site in Warrington - and has created 60 new jobs.
It is the largest single investment in Hermes’ history, and signifies commitment to growth and service. It will help facilitate the developing requirement for next day deliveries and will also play a key role in the plans for international expansion. Moving forward, the facility will provide a platform for further innovation, as Hermes introduces new products to the market. Perhaps most importantly it will help Hermes ensure that its customers can continue to have full confidence in future years’ peak periods in terms of capacity and service.
Importantly the hub will ensure the throughput capability and built in flexibility to ensure Hermes can meet any changing requirements its clients may have, such as later assured collection cut off times and a higher proportion of next-day delivery.
To continue with the same rate of growth investment needs to be made in new services and entering new markets. Innovation will be key to success in 2014 for Hermes, this has started with announcement that we will be the first national delivery company in the UK to start offering Sunday deliveries. For retailers and carriers alike, innovation and growth is essential in ensuring success for online and multichannel retailers.
- Carole Woodhead is Hermes CEO