Online shopping coming of age

I’ve just taken delivery of a new phone, to replace the one that drowned.  A similar model, but I won’t dwell on that in this post.  What impressed me today was the delivery.

It wasn’t cheap.  The retailer (Handtec) didn’t offer a free delivery option, and I decided to pay a couple of quid extra for next day delivery rather than spend several days potentially in limbo.

What happened next was rather good, and suggests that online shopping may be finally taking the problems of delivery seriously.  On placing the order I got the customary acknowledgement email, followed by the email telling me my order has been cleared and is being dispatched.  Another hour and a message from the delivery company (GPSK) telling me it would be delivered on Tuesday, but giving me options to select another day.  Better still, this morning another message giving me a one-hour delivery time window (12:43-13:43), again with the option to request a different day.  So on hearing a diesel van pull up at 12:53, I looked out of the window, saw the logo, and went down to take delivery.  All very smooth!

Both the messages from GPSK came both as text and email to maximise the chance of reaching me in good time, if I had wished to make a change.  And both contained embedded reply mechanisms to request a change.  This attention to detail is exactly the kind of thing I’ve been asking for, and suggests that the business of online ordering and delivery is finally reaching a decent level of maturity!

Posted on October 2, 2012, in internet, shopping. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Just been browsing the net and came across an article about Shutl. I don’t know if their service is any good, but it seems that their business model is designed to address the problem of physical delivery too. Their service offers a one hour delivery window of the customer’s choice and is being used by Argos and Maplin among others. So yes, at last internet retailers are starting to address the very real issue that we aren’t all able to sit at home and wait ad nauseam for someone to turn up with the goods.

    I think there might be an opportunity to reinvigorate our local post office network here too. For those of us who live down cart tracks that don’t show up on satnavs and are too potholed and narrow for your typical supersize modern delivery van (these places do exist – I have a home at such a location), why can’t we have the option of collecting our goods from the village post office which could receive an appropriate handing fee, thus assisting its viability? It’s better than having to report to some courier’s delivery depot to collect one’s non-delivery, which might be 15 or 20 miles away (or more from very remote places).

  2. Argos delivery (and their service in general) was excellent even back in 2005, when I moved house. I bought a lot of stuff from Argos, not least a bunch of white goods and kitchen appliances. I even cancelled an order I’d placed with Comet (after they’d proved hopelessly inefficient, failed to deliver, and were clueless when I tried to follow up after several days without a fridge/freezer). My new order with Argos, by contrast, arrived first thing the following morning.

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