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2023 peak – a review of our busiest period of the year.

Christmas comes but once a year and it is a busy and profitable time for our eCommerce fulfilment clients who can make a lions share of their profits in the 2 months before Christmas. But, if the last few years have taught us anything it has taught us, predictable results or volumes are increasingly difficult to call.

Whilst many of our competitors seem to have had a restrained peak, in some cases seeing a contraction of 20% on forecast, diamond seems to have been beating the trend with a swing of over 30% against these statistics – testament to our expanding network and the adoption of despatchlab nationwide.

Natalie Wainwright, our MD, comments, “The reality is, is that peak was as unpredictable as the last few years have been. Whilst we still saw volumes up 15% on the previous years, there’s certainly been a contraction from the major retailers and a drive to low cost provision with more consignments via the lower cost carriers demonstrated with us spending more with Yodel than with many of our other carriers.

The volatility of the e-commerce retailer markers seems to be reflected from feedback that we’ve had from the carriers. Thier feedback includes the major retailers have seen a downturn however the smaller e-commerce entrepreneurs seem to be doing very well. That’s testament to the growth of markets such as Etsy and Vinted and driving individuals to seek unique gifts online.

Luckily Diamond is very well positioned because it specifically targets is the SME market working with both logistics partners and their local end users in over 31 sites all around the UK in order to facilitate their e-commerce delivery”

Another overriding trend seems to be the holding on of the consumer pound until Black Friday. It’s really interesting when Which? reviewed many of the online prices that were published around Black Friday and said that there were often only single percentage of real discounts around that period of time, whereas the consumer seems convinced that waiting until Black Friday and beyond is the key time to start their e-commerce shopping.

This brings a variety of challenges and opportunities. The primary challenge is dealing with a very concentrated peak of a four or five weeks whereas historically peak used to start picking up from September/October. The opportunity is for our e-commerce retailers if they have an existing client list – then marketing extensively around this period will pay dividends – because it seems the consumers are really interested in it whether the discounts are real or not!

In terms of the sectors that we deemed to be really successful in 2023 peak, there seems to be continuing interest in our alcohol fulfilment clients, after all, even if we are a bit squeezed due to the cost of living crisis, it is Christmas, and a tipple or two always goes down well, whether as a gift or for your own consumption! And other growth areas seem to be in premier consumer goods and healthcare, two trends which we see continuing into 2024.

The great thing is, for these clients who have been super successful in Diamonds 2023 peak, is that they all get to sit back and relax and watch the orders being processed as Diamond and its team picks up the operational surge.

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Fulfilment and Delivery
Millions of parcels in, Diamond is an ambitious, creative business that tailors fulfilment and delivery services to the needs of individuals and companies.

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