Jersey learns 'hard and fast' to build a delivery service from scratch
Innovative Partners in Jersey have built a delivery service from scratch to reach vulnerable customers who have no one else to help them.
“Many of our elderly and vulnerable customers are having to self-isolate and we had a lot of enquiries asking if we could deliver to them during this unprecedented time,” says Marion Gorrod, Branch Manager, W&P St Saviour.
The island’s three W&P stores don’t usually offer deliveries – though a ‘shop and drop’ service is available – and while most retailers on the island are offering some form of delivery service during the crisis, these are in the form of paid emergency packs of essential items, Marion explains.
“Our customers wanted something different and bespoke according to their individual preferences,” she says. “After listening to customers, we decided to offer a delivery service of their preferred items limited to 20 items per customer.
“Our service is only available to those who have absolutely nobody else on the island who could shop for them.”
Supermarket Assistant Jacey Brookes picking customers’ items
Marion says that since kicking off the service less than a fortnight ago, the team has had to learn “hard and fast” about what what works and what needs improving.
“The team has been absolutely amazing in thinking out of the box, particularly as none of them have had experience in working in a dot.com environment before. Each day we have improved our efficiency and we went from 10 orders a day to 20 per day over in the first week. We’re aiming for 40 deliveries per day across the island.”
The existing ‘shop and drop’ service meant that St Helier had some delivery equipment, two vans and experienced drivers but no picking trollies. “A Partner came up with the ingenious idea on utilising old rolling cages for this, allowing us to pick for six customers at any one time. This is done by our fabulous out of hours team.”
Marion points out that it’s a multi-branch effort. “Whilst this service is run from St Saviour, Partners at St Helier and Red Houses have been amazing by supporting us with resources. It’s a great example of one island, one team.”
Orders picked and ready to go
Customer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. “With every order, we send a card and a ‘little something extra’ just to let them know that we are thinking of them in these times,” says Marion. “We’ve received some wonderful messages from customers. Last week for example many thanked us for the ‘lovely daffs’ which were ‘very much valued and appreciated’.”
Messages of gratitude have even poured in from across the English Channel:
‘Just thought I’d let you know that my mum received her order today and was thrilled to bits with the flowers and card. A really thoughtful touch. I live in the UK and this is the only way I can support my elderly mum who is isolating on the island.’
Go team Jersey!
Gazette G+ article 14/04/2020