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DPD’s Follow My Parcel and Google Glass are the top Digital Retail Innovations of 2014

DPD’s unique Follow My Parcel service has been voted one of the top retail innovations of 2014, in a major new study aimed at highlighting the most interesting digital developments taking place in the retail sector.

The report, published by Retail Insider and sponsored by WebLoyalty, looked at the latest initiatives from a long list of retail giants including Amazon, Argos, Asda, Asos, B&Q, Burberry, eBay, Ikea, McDonalds, PayPal, Starbucks, Tesco, Topshop and Westfield.

The UK’s favourite parcel delivery company* came second in the overall run-down, beaten only by Google Glass. However, the report reveals that Follow My Parcel actually came top for three of the four criteria used by the independent judging panel, made up of analysts, senior retailers, researchers, and IT specialists.

The Top Ten Digital Retail Innovations of 2014

Position Innovation Overall score

(out of 960)

1st Google – Google Glass 753

2nd DPD – Follow My Parcel 748

3rd InPost – London Underground lockers 709

4th Starbucks – Pre-ordering app 692

5th PayPal – ‘Order Ahead’ and Pay at Table 688

6th Westfield London – Collect+ 661

7th McDonalds – Digital stores 655

8th PayPal – Face recognition 650

9th Ikea – Augmented reality app 646

10th Eagle Eye – Greggs Rewards 644

The panel’s scoring was based on four criteria (DPD’s ranking is shown in brackets): how innovative it is (DPD came 7th), potential influence across the sector (1st), commercial potential (1st) and the potential benefit to customers (1st).

With DPD’s Predict and Follow My Parcel services, recipients receive a notification of their delivery the evening before and are able to access five ‘in-flight’ delivery options, including; ‘Change the delivery day’, Deliver to a specific neighbour’ and ‘Deliver to a safe place’. These can be accessed via a smartphone, tablet or desktop at any point during the delivery if the customer can’t be at home to accept their parcel. Customer who are available on the delivery day then receive advanced notification of their exact one-hour timeslot and can track their driver using a unique mapping tool all the way around his route to their front door.

Dwain McDonald, DPD’s CEO said; "I’m absolutely thrilled with this. To be up there with Google Glass in terms of innovation, and ahead of so many other great names in retail, is a fantastic achievement for DPD. Our innovations aren’t pilots – they are very real. We are out there on the road every day and Follow My Parcel is used by millions of people. Everything we do is based on working with real customers day-in, day-out and trying to constantly improve our service and transform the way parcels are delivered.

"Online retailing and home delivery are here to stay and are only going to become more significant in the retail world. In the main, online shoppers want their parcels delivered straight to their doorstep, so Follow My Parcel and our new nationwide Sunday delivery service are based on helping retailers give their customers what they want – a great delivery experience, right first time. Retailers that use Predict and Follow My Parcel know that a great delivery experience reflects well on them and is a key factor in driving repeat online purchases."

Glynn Davis from Retailinsider.com commented, "Innovation has always had a role in this dynamic sector but we are currently in a period when the impact of digital technology is having a particularly significant effect on the industry.

"As a result lots of fascinating initiatives, pilots, trials, and experiments are being undertaken, which is certainly creating an exciting time for retail executives and consumers alike. The intention of this report is to throw the spotlight on some of the most interesting and potentially impactful of these digitally-driven innovations within the UK and Ireland."

Earlier this year DPD announced its most ambitious expansion plans to date with the development of 15 new depots in the UK in 2014, including three new ‘super-depots’ capable of handling 25,000 parcels a day. Construction of DPD’s new £100m parcel hub at Hinckley Commercial Park in the East Midlands is well underway. The facility, which will be the largest of its kind in Europe and capable of handling 70,000 parcels an hour, is on schedule to be completed in 2015, creating up to 1,000 permanent full-time jobs.

The full report: Digital Retail Innovations 2014 – can be viewed by clicking here: http://www.retailinsider.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Innovation-Report-FINAL.pdf

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