THE RETAIL BULLETIN - The home of retail news
Click here
Home Page
News Categories
Department Stores
Electricals and Tech
Food and Drink
General Merchandise
Health and Beauty
Home and DIY
People Matter
Retail Business Strategy
Retail Solutions
Electricals & Technology
Sports and Leisure
Christmas Ads
Shopping Centres, High Streets & Retail Parks
Retail Events
People in Retail Awards 2024
The Future of The High Street 2024
Retail HR Summit
THE Retail Conference
Retail HR North 2025
Upcoming Retail Events
Past Retail Events
Retail Insights
Retail Solutions
Subscribe for free
Terms and Policies
Privacy Policy
Comment: counting the cost of instant gratification

The one question I have about the announcement that fast delivery firm Getir is to exit the UK, is what took it so long? The model… View Article


Comment: counting the cost of instant gratification

The one question I have about the announcement that fast delivery firm Getir is to exit the UK, is what took it so long? The model of such businesses delivering groceries in less than 30 minutes has always been fatally flawed in my opinion because the margins are simply too small for it to stack up financially.

Getir and the plethora of other such quick-commerce firms sprang up in the UK around the time of the pandemic to satisfy consumers’ increasing appetite for instant gratification. The inability of people to wait even for next-day delivery now encompasses all product types – from take-away food to electronics to DIY products and of course fashion, especially fast fashion.

Leading the way in feeding this impatience has been the likes of Deliveroo, Just Eat and Uber Eats delivering prepared meals. There is no doubt that people have become conditioned to the on-demand nature of these businesses. It’s become the normal to place an order with the expectation that there will a knock on the door in about 30 minutes from a courier bearing hot food.

Such demands have been extended out into all sorts of product categories. But does it have to be this way? Do we really need to have goods we ordered online delivered within minutes? The reality is that it places great stress on retail businesses that have to handle the complexity of such fast-paced fulfilment and in many cases the logistics involved squeezes out all the margin for the operator.

For all but the most urgent of products – such as medicines and other genuine distress purchases – there is surely little need for immediate deliveries and instant gratification. Even take-away food could in many instances involve customers placing their orders for a specified time the following day or even some days into the future. The reality is that many people are incredibly predictable in ordering the same items from the same food brand at the same time each week so why do all orders have to be on-demand.

It’s not just retailers and foodservice brands that find it difficult to make their online orders financially viable from the increased impatience of their customers but there is also an environmental impact. How much more sustainable would it be if greater numbers of deliveries going into certain areas could be batched together and therefore require less white vans on the road.

Some retailers have been experimenting with asking shoppers if they would be willing to wait a little longer for their items in order that it is a more environmentally sound delivery. More of us should be willing to embrace such scenarios if we really don’t need our order to be dispatched immediately.

The ideal solution for retailers with store portfolios is to promote the use click & collect. It’s sustainable on both an environmental footing and financially. In many cases the collection can be undertaken very quickly (instant gratification no less!) if the goods are in the store selected by the shopper. And if they are not in that outlet then sourcing them from a nearby store is also a possibility and is more cost and time efficient that pushing goods out from distribution centres.

Retailers are doing their best to accommodate customers’ increased impatience with deliveries but in many cases it is arguably damaging their businesses and ultimately the planet. Stepping back from offering exactly what customers appear to want can be very tough so maybe what is needed is a little help from shoppers. This can start with them asking whether they really do need that pair of socks or chocolate bar delivered in 30 minutes.

Subscribe For Retail News