It’s been a busy couple of months here at Spark Response. For those of you who regularly follow our blog, you’ll be used to frequent updates and industry news. However, for very good reasons, our content team has been a little tied up lately! So what’s been happening?

New Clients on Board

In late 2014 Spark Response was appointed to provide e-Fulfilment and Retail Logistics services to an innovative, growing cycling apparel brand. The two year partnership sees Spark Response provide warehousing, storage, pick pack and despatch services to both consumers, and wholesale customers worldwide, including the UK’s biggest online cycling retailer. With a growing customer base and exciting designs, we’re hugely excited about working together over the next two years.

December also saw Spark Response begin a new partnership with a UK brand owner, whose brands have been hugely successful in the US, and include electrical products for the kitchen and the home. Spark Response was originally appointed as a contact centre partner, handling order calls following their DRTV campaigns. As our relationship grew, Spark Response was then appointed to provide eCommerce fulfilment services to consumers across the UK.

Events : The Delivery Conference

On 3rd February, our team attended The Delivery Conference, hosted by MetaPack. This one day conference, held at the Park Plaza, Westminster Bridge provided us a with a great deal of information into the latest developments and innovations in the carrier and logistics field. So what did we learn?

1. Black Friday was an e-Retail ‘Tsunami’

This 4 day period in November, culminating in Cyber Monday, effectively ‘broke’ eCommerce. Despite the best volume estimates and forecasts from retailers and carriers, nearly everyone who spoke about the weekend explained they had faced issues, mainly from demand far outweighing the best forecasts. Dick Stead, CEO of Yodel explained they had lorries which usually carry 1500 items, carrying 7000 items. They were 600,000 items over forecast on the Friday alone.

2. None of the people in the room really want Black Friday as a period to continue

For retailers, Black Friday seems great. Customers are hungry for bargains so they come shopping. However, they’re only buying in sales, so margins for retailers are vastly reduced. In many cases, websites crashed due to the levels of traffic they were seeing. Then, there was the customer expectation of next day or 48 hour delivery, which for many simply could not happen, leading to poor customer satisfaction scores.

Carriers too would rather Black Friday disappeared. From their point of view, resourcing with drivers, hub capacity and lorries is extremely challenging due to the vastly increased parcel traffic levels.

3. DPD are continuing to be the leader of innovation in the carrier space.

With further investments coming including DPD Predict featuring an app for consumers, offering customers push notification technology on the status of their parcels to within 15 minutes of delivery, DPD’s next day proposition continues to lead the way in the market. DPD also unveiled their new £100million hub in Staffordshire.

Events : IMRG Fashion Connect Conference

On 12th February, our team were back in London, as sponsors of the IMRG Fashion Connect Conference, also held in Westminster. This one day conference was attended by retailers and vendors to the retail sector, and had social media in Fashion and customer experience as its key theme. The event gave us some great insight into how retailers are utilising key social tools to drive a positive customer experience. Speakers from Puma, Radley and Co and Secret Sales gave some great talks.

A whole new workplace experience here at Spark Response

As our full time headcount continues to grow, we’ve invested in our people, and our facilities by opening a brand new canteen, within our warehouse complex. Serving hot and cold meals from breakfast through until 4pm, the canteen, named Bait ‘n’ Banter has just recently opened, and has been hugely popular. So come along and see us, the coffee is on us…