Blogging from 2014 Catalyst Europe: Your Inside Track to Fulfilment

April 11, 2014

DSC_3503Welcome to the blog of ChannelAdvisor’s Catalyst Europe 2014. We’ blogged some of our keynote sessions to make sure that Catalyst attendees don’t miss anything. Also, make sure you’re following hashtag #EUCatalyst and @ChannelAdvisor on Twitter for all the latest updates.

Keynote Session: Your inside track to fulfilment – fireside chat

Carole Woodhead, CEO, Hermes Ltd and Jordan Weinstein Managing Director EMEA ChannelAdvisor

To fulfil or to outsource, that is the question? Making the sale is half the battle; efficient delivery is the other half. How do you manage customer expectations and deliver an order in a cost effective and convenient way?

Carole to discuss:

  • What’s new with fulfilment?
  • How to manage customer expectations
  • How to optimise you fulfilment strategy

Jordan:  Thanks for joining us Carole, could just tell us a bit about yourself and Hermes?

Carole:  Great to be here, thanks for having me. Ok I’ve been with Hermes for 12 years. We are the second biggest delivery operation to the Royal Mail, we provide a home delivery service to nine and a half thousand customers. We also have parcel shops in many different locations.

Jordan: What kind of fulfilment options are there for retailers? What makes Hermes different?

Carole: To the average consumer on the street we have the lowest cost, in addition we have 95% success rate of getting the parcel to the customer on the first attempt. This is because of our local knowledge, we make it easy for our courier’s to do deliver successfully.

Jordan: Great- so let’s talk about geography?

Carole: We are primarily based in the UK in addition to sister companies in Germany and France. We also have solutions in Italy and Austria, as well as parcel shops in 30 cities in Russia

Jordan: So you are now working with ChannelAdvisor customers?

Carole: Yes we are. We have integrated ChannelAdvisor’s platform that enables customers to import selected parcels for delivery/return and print labels for no extra charge

Jordan: So how does it work, is it complicated?

Carole: Well I’m not very technical


Carole: But even I find the solution so easy and it works really well.

Jordan: So throughout the day one of the main themes cross-border trade in particular the Chinese market, what’s your perspective?

Carole: Well we do consumer research every year and we ask a whole series of questions on international deliveries. And the main concern to consumers is about international delivery and returns, payment and security. For example 60% of e-commerce consumers look for products overseas but do not convert. It’s important to find a low cost route including, a fully tracked delivery and a fully tracked returned solution and remember one size solution doesn’t fit every country. One of the barriers we have overcome is with payment security; Hermes is now integrated with Amazon so customers do not have to re-register their credit card details again when they register with Hermes.

Jordan: What do you think are the other major emerging markets and industry trends?

Carole: Well from today we have learnt that China is an important marketplace as well as Russia. For example we have a budding parcel shop solution in Russia. As it stands Russia is a relatively small  e-commerce market however a lot of Russian consumers place orders overseas. It’s all about having knowledge of local geographies, for example many countries prefer to pay cash on delivery. For example in Italy 96% pay cash on delivery.

We have also seen a rise in parcel shops, we now have included changing rooms in our parcel shops so that customers can try and buy in the store. People now expect you to have shops to click and collect and not just home delivery. Hermes will soon have the biggest collection on parcel shops in Europe.

Jordan: Can we talk a bit more about how e-commerce fits into your business overall?

Carole: The vast majority of our orders come through e-commerce.

Jordan: I think the parcel shop comes up more and more these days, as most sellers don’t have the opportunity to do click and collect themselves. Hermes sounds like it instantly enables retailers to do this.

Carole: Yes it’s huge, in two years 50% of our partners are choosing this service. These days there is a range of choices, different services and different access routes to market. So it’s important we can offer collections to home, collections to and from parcel shop it’s all about being flexible

Jordan: We heard earlier about drones, what is Hermes doing from an innovation perspective?

Carole: Well drones aren’t on our list yet but the best example of innovation we have done is Sunday delivery. This has been available to shoppers on the high street since I can remember so it makes sense we can do it from an e-commerce perspective.

Jordan: Everyone want things so fast, how has consumer behaviour changed?

Carole: Well the funny thing is people really like next day delivery as it’s all about speed but it’s also about convenience. For example the number of people who leave parcels in parcel shops for three or four days is really interesting. But it’s all about when they can get to the parcel shops to pick them up it’s just about being flexible and convenient.

Jordan: What are the different options available to online retailers?

Carole:  We have a solution for everyone whether you deliver 1000 to 10,000 parcels a year through your own webpage or a marketplace site. We listen to what each customer wants we don’t have golden rules we don’t say if you’re this size you must have it this way, we let the customer decide. It all starts with talking to customers and end consumers, and what are their they priorities, its thinking, its research and the speed in which we make new developments, agile systems and getting things to market much much quicker.

Reminder for the Catalyst Europe’s social presence:
• Follow @ChannelAdvisor on Twitter as we’ll be tweeting out updates, reminders about sessions, networking events and more.
• Tag your social posts, Instagram pics with our show hashtag: #EUCatalyst tabs on discussions, networking opportunities and more on the Catalyst app.
• Keep an eye on the ChannelAdvisor blogs where we’ll be blogging the keynotes and main sessions at Catalyst.