Black Friday 2014 will haunt UK retailers and their logistics partners alike for many years to come. Consumers brawling in the aisles for discounted goods, trailer loads of parcels for home delivery left standing because capacity had been under-estimated, and worst of all, lots and lots of very unhappy customers.
As online sales continue to grow so may retail losses on each order. Big data and a change in consumer attitudes to the services they want might just ease the pressure on carriers.
With the summer sales out of the way, retailers used to start turning their attention to the Christmas peak – or they did until the arrival of ‘Black Friday’.
Drones, driverless vehicles, robots, underground tunnels… futuristic delivery options are proliferating, but will they ever replace the ‘man with a van’?
As online sales soar so do returns, with three or four items in every ten sold heading back to the shelves – at what cost?