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Distribution Research Bulletin July 2020

July 8th 2020

Over the past 3 months, COVID-19 has shaped entirely new habits within our day-to-day lives. We have all experienced a very different way of life, and for businesses worldwide, this has never been more evident. While certain sectors have seen a decline in sales, revenue, and overall engagement, others have thrived. Organisations that we may have often taken for granted have become much more vital and necessary.

The distribution sector, for example, has become a critical service over the lockdown period. Without warning or choice, the industry has had to adapt and evolve their way of working, but overall, it has responded positively.

Throughout this period, TTi Global, a division of GP Strategies, has continued to collect data on customer perception and satisfaction within this sector, and in our short report, we have highlighted some of the key shifts in these touchpoints.

For instance, the Direct Selling Association UK (DSA) have found that distribution and delivery of online purchases has increased by up to 65% during the pandemic say some sources , which in turn increases the need for delivery services. The distribution sector has responded to market demands and customer requirements through using technology and by equipping staff with the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and training to do their job in sometimes difficult circumstances. Organisations that keep the nation’s food supplies delivered and parcels transported have frequently been a welcome visitor.

Confidence in the distribution sector has also increased, and we fully expect to see this trend continue with people becoming more reliant upon this sector in the pandemic period.

Customer satisfaction by age found that the highest scoring age category was the 16-24 age group, followed interestingly by those in the 65-plus category – an age group that has traditionally been less used to online purchasing. We also found that customers in the 25-34 age range were the least satisfied.

Through our monthly benchmarking survey, we have traditionally seen this sector as fairly static in terms of customer satisfaction. As consumers changed their shopping habits, their expectations have increased, as have perceptions of service and staff. In the coming months, we may see more changes as the new normal emerges; however, some retail specialists are forecasting online and home delivery will be the new normal.

But let’s look closer. How does overall customer satisfaction within the distribution sector fluctuate between demographics? How has the pandemic influenced employee engagement? And have customers felt supported by organisations throughout the pandemic? Download our report to learn more insights.

Look out for our next report to see how trends are moving. If you would like more information about this or any of our research services, please contact gluckett@gpstrategies.com.