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Halfords introduces “Free Delivery to Store”

Wednesday April 7 2010

Delivery management software investment pays off for car accessories and bike retailer

Building on the successful ‘Reserve and Collect’ service, in January 2010 Halfords introduced ‘Free Delivery to Store’ through their MetaPack delivery management software.

This service allows their customers to order goods online and collect from a local store with no additional delivery costs, offering them more choice than ever before. MetaPack have successfully managed Halfords customer distribution for over five years after being asked to provide a cohesive strategy for an efficient despatch management system.

Through the introduction of ‘Free Delivery to Store’ Halfords customers are now able to choose from a significantly wider range of products and organise a free delivery at a time, which is convenient for them (usually within 24 hours). This enables Halfords to increase their offline sales, while retaining the customer’s loyalty.

Customers appreciate flexibility

Moreover, Halfords research has shown that their customers prefer to collect in store so that they can take advantage of the wide range of fitting services and demonstrations available. Halfords now offers four delivery services; Free Delivery to Store, Reserve and Collect, Text and Reserve and Home Delivery, all of which are managed through MetaPack.

The ‘Free Delivery to Store’ uses the existing MetaPack Supplier Direct function, meaning it could be introduced into the Halfords process without any additional implementation, resource and costs.

The way this works is that each morning order data is imported from SAP to MetaPack using a single click. The suppliers can then log on to MetaPack via the internet and see all of their Halfords orders as pre-allocated consignments.

Shared visibility improves service

MetaPack then prints the carrier labels for them and sends the carrier the collection notices. From this point onwards it becomes a “Halfords delivery” and the supplier’s customer services team can gain full visibility. Additionally the Halfords customer service team can access the same information and has the same ability to provide an efficient proactive professional level of customer services.

Halfords have a new Coventry based distribution centre opening in July, which will also be equipped with MetaPack delivery management software and this will ensure stock is efficiently delivered to all of Halfords 467 stores throughout the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

Jon Asbury, Halfords multichannel development manager, commented: “In a time where customer loyalty and repeat business is crucial, it’s a retailer’s job to ensure they stand out from their competitors and offer services and savings wherever they can. MetaPack truly is a revolutionary concept. It has grown with our operation and has allowed us to offer a wider product range to our customers as well as visibility of all our orders thus enhancing our customer service.”

Tagged as: Halfords | automotive | online | web | e-commerce | store | delivery | multichannel | click & collect | text | reserve | MetaPack