The in-/ convenience of e-commerce

Last week Transport for London (TfL) drummed up excitement to the masses (of London and the surrounding area) by declaring a ‘revolution’ to its underground network. It has expanded its trial for Click and Collect services with UK supermarket chain Asda, by teaming up with another two of the UK’s largest retailers, Tesco and Waitrose.

TfL reported that Tesco and Waitrose will install click and collect facilities at up to six stations each, and that InPost, the postal and courier service provider, will also install lockers at three stations. The concept of parcel lockers is by no means a new feature of express logistics, however, I for one am definitely excited by the increasing convenience of it all.

A Monday-Friday, 9.00 -17.00 career in the age of internet shopping often results in being greeted by a friendly ‘How dare you, you were out!’ note through the door meaning that not only do you have to wait longer for your parcel than originally intended but you also will be required to schedule time on a weekend to visit the sorting office where your goods are now being held.

Whilst the frustration that comes alongside such a scenario is clearly a sign of the impatience of the times, evidently solutions are being put in place to suit the desires of the general public.

Despite my enthusiasm for the click and collect scheme, I am yet to trial and review such parcel locker methods as, perhaps, I have become too comfortable with structuring deliveries around my own schedule and my own home, particularly for groceries. Paying for and allocating an hour delivery slot so that I don’t have to battle with supermarket shoppers each weekend, is something I fully promote.

I was therefore, fascinated by a blog written by Ti’s Senior Analyst Cathy Roberson, back in February 2013, ‘Is online grocery shopping about to take off in the US?’ where she highlighted that in 2011 in the US, online grocery shopping represented only 2% of total US spend on groceries, whilst in the UK this was at 4% and rising! I am intrigued, just as she is, about the differences in delivery methods of groceries, or lack thereof, and it is an area that I know she is keen to explore further.

On the subject of Cathy, I, and I’m sure the rest of Ti, would like to raise a proverbial glass to her as she celebrates her third year in what she describes as ‘the closest I’ve come to my “perfect job”’ as well as her birthday later this week! Thank you Cathy from all of us here for your continuing contributions to nearly every aspect of Transport Intelligence!

Later this week, Cathy and I will hold and publish an interview about Ti’s Global Healthcare Logistics report as mentioned in last week’s blog, so do check back for that as well as for blog posts from our other regular contributors.

Thank you for reading!


One thought on “The in-/ convenience of e-commerce

  1. Pingback: Last Mile Innovation? | the Ti blog

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