ULTRA-FAST DELIVERY IS GOOD, BUT WHAT ABOUT THE PRODUCT?

It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there and e-comm retailers are currently doing battle on the delivery front, now that we’re officially closing in on Christmas. We take a look at who’s quick on the draw in this week’s [retail bytes].

Argos is in a time warp – is it 1998? 3,000 new drivers are being hired by Argos to support their new ‘Fast Track’ same-day home delivery or store collection. Good effort but, alas, the in-store tablets for ordering are still dismally small, and the sad-looking grid product display online is doing nothing for those lovely toasters. How about splashing out on larger screens, then providing inspiration and product cross-sells rather than just a somewhat predictable and pedestrian toaster listing like we are still in 1998?

Honey, I’ll watch the kids Not to be beaten by Argos, Amazon Prime Now is offering 1 hour (!) delivery to parts of London, with the good people of Wandsworth being trialled to get ultra-fast service within 60 minutes of purchase. If you are a South London parent left at home on baby-sitting duties despair no more, as now you can order coffee, nappies and a game console at the drop of a hat.

See for yourself… Brilliant customer service from Cubitts Glasses – when you order a pair from their new collection it’ll be delivered in a couple of days for a free 5-day home trial. We love it as our buyer’s regret on new frames is off the charts. Now you can try at home, ask for honest advice from your friends and colleagues and, if approved, you can go for that mad hipster frame with total confidence. We tried a virtual pair in their Selfridge’s pop-up and loved it!

Off their trolley Only 15% of food shopping is done online, with the vast majority of customers still going to physical stores for their weekly shop. Security tags have been quietly added to Tesco shopping baskets in Oldham as Manchester’s response to a 5p bag charge was to simply take the whole basket home. You have to be a brave man to take on the Mancunian love of their shopping bags…

High streets alive and well 54% of John Lewis orders last year weren’t delivered to homes but collected from store. Click-And-Collect grew 47% on the year, as people prefer to collect orders during their lunch break or on the way to and from work. The death of the high street has been highly exaggerated.

Join Eva Pascoe (The Retail Practice), George McDonald (Retail Week) and others on Sunday at the Barbican for a debate; Do high streets still need shops?