Snow Valley is pleased to announce that the second annual Golden Chariot awards party, celebrating excellence in online retail delivery, will take place on Wednesday 19 January at an illustrious venue in Central London.

The Golden Chariot awards, this year sponsored by CitySprint, Hermes, PayPal, and Total Logistics, are presented to the retailers that offered a truly outstanding delivery experience when tested by Snow Valley in the research for their 2011 Online Retail Delivery in the UK Report, which is sponsored by the delivery management specialists MetaPack.

Now in its sixth year, the Online Retail Delivery in the UK Report is the industry authority on the delivery services that UK retailers provide to online shoppers.

The report is based on research carried out by Snow Valley in the final quarter of 2010. Live orders were placed on nearly 250 UK online stores and every aspect of the delivery service was evaluated, from the delivery charges right through to the quality of the order tracking.

The retailer with the best overall delivery service will be presented with the Golden Chariot award on the night of 19 January. This year, for the first time, four other Silver Chariot awards will also be presented to retailers that excelled during the research. The four categories are Best Cross-Channel Service, Best International Delivery, Best Brand Experience, and Best Customer Service.

Carlo Rimini, CEO at Snow Valley said; “For the past six years, we’ve been producing our annual report on how retailers are delivering the goods to online customers and I’m really very proud that so many in our industry use our research to benchmark and improve their services. Golden Chariot is a natural extension to the report, because it allows us to identify the stand-out performers, share best practice, and celebrate the great progress that retailers and suppliers are making.”

Bel Shergill at CitySprint said; “As the UK’s largest SameDay Distribution network providing flexible delivery solutions for retailers, CitySprint is very pleased to once again be involved in Snow Valley’s Golden Chariot awards. During this dynamic period for retailers, delivery excellence is key to meeting increasing customers’ expectations for convenient and flexible delivery options. Last year’s event was a real celebration of the progress that retailers and carriers are making to better meet these expectations and we look forward to toasting this year’s winners on the night.”

Jon Tobbell at Hermes said; “Hermes is completely committed to helping retailers deliver an excellent online shopping service and so we’re delighted to be supporting the Golden Chariot awards again this year. Both the awards and the Online Retail Delivery in the UK 2011 report give retailers and carriers excellent insight into the improvements we can make and the progress we’re already making.”

Cameron McLean, General Manager Merchant Services from PayPal, said; “PayPal is very pleased to be involved in the 2011 Golden Chariot awards. Snow Valley is one of our key partners and we fully support the work that they are doing to help online retailers in the UK improve the customer shopping experience.”

Martin Brickell, ecommerce sector expert at Total Logistics said; “In the past 10 years the ecommerce sector has emerged as not only a viable channel but a critical aspect to retailer success. Many high-street retailers who had never even thought of delivering one product directly to a customer’s home have morphed into multi-channel brands, combined with the growth of pure play e-tailer businesses. The spectacular growth of internet shopping is forcing multi-channel retailers to rethink their entire supply chain, and pure play e-tailers to develop their supply chains. All of which is both very challenging but critical to the customer experience and ultimately business success. This is why we’re pleased to be involved in the Golden Chariot event, as it is a great opportunity to highlight those in the sector who are making real efforts to get it right.”

The event will also mark the official publication of the Online Retail Delivery in the UK 2011 report, which is sponsored by MetaPack. The report covers 32 areas of the delivery process, such as whether the retailer offered next day, international, or in-store services and how much they charged for delivery.

The report also monitored how well the retailers actually performed when it came to delivering the goods. A live order was placed on 229 of the online stores that were evaluated, allowing the researchers to monitor the delivery process from start to finish.

Patrick Wall, CEO of MetaPack, said; “We’re very pleased to be supporting the Online Retail Delivery in the UK 2011 report. MetaPack helps retailers to achieve optimum delivery flexibility and Snow Valley’s report is the industry benchmark on how retail home delivery is evolving and improving. We look forward to sharing the results.”

END
07 January 2011

About Snow Valley:
Snow Valley works with leading multi-channel retailers to help them build and run world-class e-commerce operations. Snow Valley’s e-commerce platform, MUSE, is powering online stores and management applications for Soletrader, Dobbies Gardens Centres, Majestic Wines, Clarks Shoes, and Liverpool FC among others. The Snow Valley Insight service provides e-commerce consultancy, research, benchmarking, training and analytics to give retailers the intelligence and inspiration they need to grow their multi-channel businesses. www.snowvalley.com

About CitySprint:
CitySprint is the UK’s largest privately owned SameDay Distribution company in the UK and Europe and is in the top 5 SameDay Distribution companies in the world. CitySprint offers an extensive portfolio of services including SameDay Courier, SameDay Logistics, International & UK Overnight courier services. CitySprint has a regional network of 31 ServiceCentres across the UK with a fleet of over 1600 vehicles. More information about CitySprint is available at www.citysprint.co.uk

About Hermes:
Hermes is the UK's largest home delivery courier network handling more than 110 million collections and deliveries per annum. Hermes works with companies of all sizes, and in recent years has diversified from agency catalogue brands to work with leading high street, direct catalogue and online retailers in the UK including Next Directory, Readers Digest, Lakeland Limited and ASOS. Within the UK, Hermes operates a network of over 7,500 lifestyle couriers that provides flexible, high-quality doorstep delivery, combined with a friendly and local approach. Hermes provides an innovative range of delivery solutions that include next day delivery, parcel returns, SMS messaging and real time management information. www.hermes-europe.co.uk

About PayPal:
PayPal enables any individual or business with an email address to send and receive payments online securely and easily using a bank account, credit card, debit card or stored balance. Because PayPal allows customers to shop online without sharing their financial information with merchants, privacy is built into the service. Today PayPal is accepted in over 165,000 websites across Europe, has 81 million active accounts (nearly 210 million total accounts) and is available in 190 markets. www.paypal.co.uk

About Total Logistics:
Total Logistics is an independent management consultancy specialising in all aspects of commercial supply chains. Our work encompasses the complete project lifecycle, from strategy definition to benchmarking and from implementation to tender management. Supported by class-leading modelling tools, our highly experienced consultants deliver tangible improvements to our customers’ operations. We operate internationally with offices in the UK and The Netherlands. Our experience spans all industry sectors including retail, FMCG, electronics, e-commerce, food manufacturers, life sciences and media/publishing. Our clients include blue-chip organisations such as adidas, Argos, Asda Walmart, EDF, GSK, Nestlé, Oxford University Press, Premier Farnell, TK Maxx and Unilever. www.total-logistics.eu.com

About MetaPack:
Established in 1999, MetaPack is the leading provider of delivery management solutions that promote best practice, transform online shopping and help retailers exceed customer expectations. MetaPack is the only company providing a single point of integration for UK carriers enabling retailers to offer comprehensive delivery options for online shoppers as well as complete tracking through extensive performance reporting. MetaPack is the engine behind some of the biggest and well known retailers’ online delivery function. www.metapack.com

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

Sarah Clelland, Snow Valley
sarah.clelland@snowvalley.com
+44 (0) 20 7813 9520
www.snowvalley.com

Published on: 1:34PM on 7th January 2011