Royal Mail strikes : who's got your back?

11 Oct 2017, 18:08 ... your-back/

Paul Galpin, MD of P2P Mailing, considers how companies, retailers, and organisations can prepare themselves for the impending Royal Mail workers’ strike.

The news that Royal Mail workers plan to strike between 19th-21st October should put ecommerce retailers on red alert. We are just entering peak-period for retailers, with November’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday now firmly established as shopping milestones ahead of the traditional Christmas rush. Any disruptions to customer service during the planned strike days could have ramifications that echo long afterwards.

The consumer simply won’t care for excuses. The whole point of ecommerce is its simplicity and convenience. If behind the scenes complications affect the customer experience, it will be the retail brand that suffers.

The question of ecommerce fulfilment is brought sharply into focus by such strike action. The deregulated UK postal scene – and wider international delivery market – presents businesses with a vast range of options and services when it comes to transporting purchases from A to B. The trouble is, such competition and complexity needs to be managed. Attempting to navigate this delivery conundrum alone is fraught with danger because few businesses will have the expertise or capacity in-house to devote to fulfilment. Too often, this means that any initial decisions taken can lead to solutions remaining in place well-past their prime because it is seen as too time-consuming and too complex to change the model around. This results in lost efficiency, higher cost and lower quality.

There is a real danger for ecommerce businesses who have nailed their fulfilment colours to Royal Mail’s mast. Relying solely on one supplier may seem sensible in terms of easy administration and the development of supplier relationships but it leaves such retailers without a contingency plan. Now that strikes are planned, these retailers are being forced to make hurried, short-term decisions which leave them open to higher cost and unknown service-levels.

Fulfilment should never be a once-and-done exercise. That’s why ecommerce businesses of every size are forming partnerships with third-party delivery experts such as P2P Mailing. Such experts are not aligned to one particular carrier or another – rather, they have strong relationships with a range of delivery providers and the market expertise to identify the best solution for each job.

Whether or not the strikes happen at the end of the month, ecommerce retailers should use this red-flag to reassess delivery options and to ensure that contingency plans are in place for such situations. There is no need to go it alone. The expert partners are out there to ensure that delivery processes are sleek, cost-efficient and aligned to customer expectations. Consumers will have no sympathy for retailers that have failed to plan accordingly. Getting it wrong just once will result in buyers switching allegiance in a flash. On the other hand, consistent delivery excellence is a sure-fire way to win consumer trust and increased share of wallet.

To find out more about P2P Mailing’s delivery services, please visit

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