Movers & Shakers Q&A – Tim Robinson, CEO of Doddle

Movers and Shakers 2014 Cover

Brought to you by Retail Insider and K3 Retail

Tim Robinson, CEO, Doddle

1.What is the greatest opportunity for your business?

For us it’s about being the company that revolutionises the way people deal with parcels, becoming the parcel service you can’t believe you lived without. The quest to eradicate the ‘sorry you were out’ card is also a driving force for Doddle. We feel we’re in a pretty good position to play an important role in this, which is of course helped by the growth of e-commerce, an industry which shows no sign of slowing down.

Tim Robinson

2.What is the biggest challenge to your business?

Old habits that die hard. Consumers having deliveries made to their homes, even though they know they’re unlikely to be home when those deliveries are made, just because that’s what they’ve always done. Even though this means they continue to get ‘sorry you were out’ cards. Education is also a challenge, not just educating consumers on what Doddle is, but what value we can add to their lives as well.

3. With the benefit of hindsight what would you have done differently so far?

If we could wind-back the clock, we would have simplified the IT requirements of retail partners much sooner. When we started, it took us months to integrate with a new retail partner from an IT perspective. This was because we had a long list of specifications we thought were essential. But we learned there is an easier way to do it and now we can be up and running with new partners in weeks, not months. If I had my time over I would have made this change earlier.

4. With the issue of digital wildfire how do you understand and control your growing digital landscape?

We have a laser focus on customer experience. The customer comes first and we only create a new digital asset if it’s essential to improving the customer experience.

5. What will the high street look like in a decade?

I think it will become generally accepted that high streets deliver an experience for customers, but don’t necessarily deliver the same volume of sales they once did. The high street of 2025 will exist to provide an experience for consumers and enhance the online journey in terms of allowing customers to interact with products, try them, test them, and feel them. Consumers will visit high streets to get closer to a brand or product but may not transact there.

6. Will mobile devices be the primary sales channel in the future?


7. What other retail businesses do you admire?

It’s hard to pick. I admire Mr Porter for its very personalised service. Asos, Missguided and for setting the pace for the industry; and in a world where customer experience and insight is changing the way we all operate, you can’t go past Amazon.

8. If you hadn’t been a retailer/service-provider-to-retail what would you have liked to do?

I’ve always been in bands, so I think if I hadn’t gone into the world of logistics, becoming a pop star would have been my calling.

9. What marks out of 10 do you give yourself so far for achievement?

Probably a seven. It’s been a great start but I’ve certainly had my setbacks. I would say there’s still a long way to go.

10. Who would you place in the Top 25 Multi-channel/e-commerce Movers & Shakers?

Nitin Passi of Missguided, Dwain McDonald at DPD, and Tom Adeyoola at Metail.