Pain Relief

PAIN RELIEF: Running a Successful Private Fulfillment Operation

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Meeting customer expectations through speedy fulfillment is a challenge for many e-tailers. Martin Newman offers advice on running a private delivery operation.

Delivery is a huge source of frustration. I feel like I’d be better off buying my own fleet of trucks rather than dealing with the major carriers here. What are the keys to running a successful private fulfillment operation? Have you seen any retailers that have taken this step and succeeded?

Very few retailers have taken this on themselves. What some have done such as Net-A-Porter or my client Thomas Pink is to buy their own branded vans and offer a same day service or even delivery at a specific time-slot within a major catchment area such as London. But this would be pretty much impossible to roll out nationally as it wouldn’t be cost effective. There needs to be enough demand to deliver an ROI from this and so it works well where there’s a big population base. There is a company in the UK called Shutl and they are rolling out ‘Shutl now’ a guaranteed delivery within 90mins in the M25/London area, and ‘Shutl later’ where the customer chooses a one hour delivery slot. They’ve been trailing this with Argos. This will be rolled out nationally. I’m sure a fulfillment company in Australia could provide a similar service.

Martin Newman

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100% results and ROI-oriented, Power Retail's UK expert Martin Newman is CEO of Practicology and one of the most experienced, best-known and respected e-commerce practitioners. He has been involved in multichannel retailing for over 25 years, and his current clients include Ben Sherman, T-Mobile, Edinburgh Woollen Mill and the Science Museum.


    • Emma
    • 26th September

    We do!!!! After feeling the same frustration for many years of buying online with slow delivery options (2 female GMs with 6 kids between us) we used our courier company Mail call to launch a retailer focused same day delivery service. Order today , receive it today. Retailer Shopping cart automatically sends the delivery order straight into our systems, so its all seamless, down to an Iphone app with down to the minute countdown to delivery for the end consumer. Heaps of retailers on board already. Happy shopping!!!

  • And a successful one too Elizabeth- I am giving them a shameless plug because they advertise with us, but well worth checking out, as I am genuinely impressed by what they do and I am not alone!
    I am sure Emma will be happy to fill you in on what happens when you offer your customers the option of this service alongside the free shipping option!


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