At this week’s MetaPack Delivery Conference, Hermes revealed the launch of their new digital strategy and how all of the investment and innovations from the past few years are coming together to build a better delivery proposition for the future.
I was able to sit down and talk to Hermes UK CEO, Martijn de Lange to find out more about their evolution from a value based carrier to a premium service offering and how this would benefit retailers and delight consumers with the ‘WOW’ factor.
The foundations Hermes have in place
In the past, Hermes and their consumer arm myHermes have been known for the value proposition. For the future they’re becoming a fully multichannel proposition with 7 day a week ParcelShops, weekend deliveries and a new digital premium experience.
They’ve laid the foundations with their new Rugby hub, pay and print in store, photo and GPS delivery confirmations and have invested in new IT to bring all the different components of the business together. A new website and the launch of a brand new mobile app will add in amazing tracking, delivery notifications and inflight redirections in order to personalise the delivery experience for consumers.
Turning the focus from the parcel to the customer
There was a common theme throughout The Delivery Conference and this is to put the customer in control and focus on their experience rather than as has been in the past for many couriers a focus on the parcel itself. Hermes, with their recent investments and new website and app will be putting the customer first with real time ability to specify a safe place, a neighbour or diversion to a ParcelShop inflight so that they can choose the delivery experience that suits their needs on the day of delivery – and it might be different every time depending on the customers plans for that day.
This won’t be cold and faceless but a highly personalised experience – The app notifications will tell the consumer who their friendly local courier is with their picture. They’ll be given a delivery time slot to let them know when the parcel will arrive and the consumer will be entirely in control of the whole experience on the day.
Zero touch problem solving for retailers
Hermes ultimate aim is to address any delivery problems themselves rather than pushing back to the retailer. For instance nothing in the courier industry is worse than a failed delivery so giving the customer inflight options can address this. Should an address be incorrect, the Hermes will enable customers to update their address in order for a successful delivery to take place or give directions to the courier rather than the retailer having to deal with exceptions. It’s all revolves around the new proactive communications that Hermes will be putting in place.
Amazing returns with Hermes
The final piece in the delivery jigsaw that Hermes will address will be their amazing returns service. Either the website or the app will be able to arrange a return which could be collected or dropped at a ParcelShop without the need for the consumer to contact the retailer. Not going to be in? That won’t be a problem as the consumer can simply leave their parcel in their nominated safe place and in the app let the courier know where to pick it up from. Not got a printer for the label? Again no problem, the app will generate a QR code so that you can print your label at your local myHermes ParcelShop.
Hermes value proposition and premium experience
Hermes have a reputation as a value focused carrier and this won’t change, but they’ll now be able to offer a premium experience to the consumer whilst reducing the workload and touchpoints for the retailer.
Hermes entire business is growing, but especially their next day service for larger retailers, their estate of ParcelShops have proven enormously popular with consumers due to their long opening hours for both outbound parcels and returns and Hermes international business is seeing strong growth. Naturally Hermes and myHermes remain popular with smaller independent retailers as well and as the delivery experience offered to customers grows they will become ever more attractive due to their value proposition.
2018 – A year of ‘WOW’ for Hermes
Hermes has always stood for scale, value, convenience and the personal touch, now Hermes will come to be associated with a premium experience. What will differentiate Hermes in the future is their belief that premium services shouldn’t cost the earth.