Kurt Salmon: Free and convenient delivery demanded

13 July 2015 Consultancy.uk

Free and convenient delivery remain top priorities for consumers in an omni-channel world, research by Kurt Salmon shows. The firm highlights that as retailers continually look to improve their customer services, investment in the regular evaluation and re-design of product flows and solutions to fulfil deliveries are essential to meet changing customer requirements. 

In a recently released report from Retail Week in association with management consulting firm Kurt Salmon, titled ‘Retail 2015: Definitive intelligence on the state of the industry, from the leaders in UK retail’*, the changing environment in the UK retail sector is explored. The report discusses the results of a survey of 25 retail executives, with questions ranging over economic issues facing retailers’ core business and changes expected within the industry over the coming year.

Consumer priority for delivery when shopping for food

Delivery
One of the aspects highlighted in Kurt Salmon’s report are the delivery preferences of consumers. These preferences can, according to the firm, be used by the retailers to improve customer service by giving customers access to their chosen good in terms of what they see as the most valuable and convenient. The report shows that consumers tend to demand free delivery and convenience. For clothing delivery, more than half (57%) of consumers place priority on free delivery, for food delivery, this found important for 45%. Next day delivery is seen as a priority offering for 32% of consumers buying clothing online, while at 17% for food delivery. A specific time-frame is important for around a quarter of clothing delivery demands.

Consumer priority for delivery when shopping for clothes

A competitive stance
Since consumers place such a high level of importance on delivery services, retailers are listening to the demands of their customers to best meet their needs. However, retailers also stand in continued competitive stance with each other, looking to innovate new ways to make shopping more convenient for their customers. “We are constantly monitoring our competitors in their proposition to customers, their delivery options and their technology. How we react to it might be a conversation through to investing considerable sums of money, but we are always monitoring them,” explains one of the respondents.

Kurt Salmon finds that if retailers are to stay on top of the conditions related to their kind of product and its delivery to customers within the convenience of that customer, then: “Regular evaluation and re-design of product flows and solutions to fulfil deliveries is essential to meet changing customer requirements. On-going review and simulation of different demand and requirement patterns should be completed to understand capacity limitations and to ensure that new delivery solutions can be built in time to avoid extreme peak period failures.”

* Consultancy.uk also highlighted the development of an omni-channel strategy by retailers, showing that only 5% is ‘omni-channel proof’ and that consumer sentiment slightly up in 2015.

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Grant Thornton advises on deal for high-growth cloud hosting firm

08 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

Grant Thornton’s North West Corporate Finance team has completed its first TMT deal of 2019. The professional services firm advised the shareholders of Hosted Desktop UK on their investment from specialist SME lender Beechbrook Capital.

Technological disruption and changing consumer behaviour have continued to affect top Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) players in recent years. The industry has seen revenues border on stagnation over the past decade, at 0.4% annual growth since 2008. While the industry is keen to develop new digital services and models to meet market challenges, they face a range of barriers – meaning the recruiting of talent specialising in innovative software and technology has become a key goal for the industry.

Amid this, Hosted Desktop UK (HDUK) provides cloud computing services to small and medium sized businesses across the UK. The firm’s cloud solutions provide businesses with IT reliability, flexibility, value for money and business continuity. As the firm bids to grow in the UK, with demand for its disruptive technologies high, HDUK has secured a key investment from specialist SME lender Beechbrook Capital.

Grant Thornton advises on deal for high-growth cloud hosting firm

The transaction was Beechbrook Capital’s maiden deal from its latest UK SME credit fund, which supports small and medium-sized businesses in the UK with EBITDA of £1 million and above. Manchester law firms Pannone Corporate (sell-side advice, led by Mark Winthorpe) and DWF LLP (buy-side advice, led by Jonathan Robinson) also advised on the deal, while Grant Thornton’s North West Corporate Finance team advised HDUK’s shareholders.

The deal represents the Grant Thornton branch’s first TMT deal of 2019, with a team comprised of Partner and Head of Corporate Finance Peter Terry, Manager Daniel Brecker and Assistant Manager Cariad Mudford advising HDUK shareholders on the investment. It is the third key deal in the TMT sector that the GT North team has advised on in the last 18 months, following the £16.5 million sale of Salford-based Sonassi to Iomart in December 2017 and NorthEdge Capital’s investment in Yorkshire company iPortalis in August 2018.

Grant Thornton’s Peter Terry said of the news, “As our domestic and working lives become ever-more technology dependent, it’s no surprise that there continues to be strong investor interest in any asset in the cloud computing, data infrastructure and connectivity space… We were pleased to work with Beechbrook Capital on the first deal in its new fund. It shows that despite the well-documented uncertainties in the economy there are still good funding options for dynamic SMEs and their management teams.”