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“Go to the gym” or “learn the guitar” are resolutions. We’re more interested in New Year’s revolutions. We asked business leaders about the successes and challenges of 2023, and what they’re changing in 2024 to help them grow. New Year, new strategies, new results.



Will & Gill Sherwin, Owners of Best of British Beer, SME drinks retailer

What were your major achievements in 2023?

“We were voted Small Business of the Year by the Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce, and also by the Staffordshire University Business Awards. And we’ve become Moonpig’s beer gift supplier of choice.”

What challenges have you experienced and grown from?

“We branched out to ‘Best of Belgian Beer’, but we lost interest because it isn’t what we’re passionate about. Then we tried ‘Best of British Wine’, but it was very expensive. Entrepreneurs can suffer from ‘shiny syndrome’: looking for what’s new and exciting. But sometimes that’s just a distraction from the core business you’re really good at.”

What are your big goals for 2024?

“We’ve always had a beer subscription club, but this year we were approached by a TV and radio broadcaster to run one for them! We’re confident we can do it, because we know DHL – our logistics partner – will be flexible. Whether we get 100 or 1,000 extra orders in a day, we’ll tell them in the morning and they’ll support it. No one else we’ve worked with has that level of flexibility. When the media runs, we’ll cope with the demand!”

Are you trying new strategies in 2024?

“Our other channels are looking after themselves, so we’re changing the strategy around our own website. We’re investing in SEO and proactive marketing to improve customer lifetime value. We’ve got such loyal customers but we don’t communicate with them enough. We don’t make recommendations about products they might like. So we’re trying a more direct e-commerce strategy.”

Neil Smith, Founder of Charity Boots, football non-profit

What were your major achievements in 2023?

“Our biggest achievement was partnering with DHL. We can now receive donations of football boots from across the UK via DHL’s returns collection service, and send them to people in need. Helping us to fulfil our motto: Give a pair a second chance.”

What are your big goals for 2024?

“We’re looking to launch projects in the Middle East. We want to reach out to that part of the world because we’ve never done any work there. Kids in the Middle East love football, so there’s lots of scope for us to help.

"And in the UK we get emails every day from people who need donations. We just want to help more kids. We have a huge footprint across the UK and many parts of the world, but we don’t have much funding so we manage on fumes. We’d love to have a steady flow of public or corporate funding to really scale up. So fundraising is our focus – we’d love for people to reach out to us.”

How are you planning to grow and reach more people in need?

“There are some exciting media opportunities. One will hopefully be TalkSport Radio, which has 9 million listeners. We’re also working with the FA: they’ve given us access to their club members to grow our exposure. And we’ll continue partnering with DHL; we need their support to collect as many boots as possible in the UK.”

Tracy Hodges, Head of Product at DHL eCommerce UK

How was 2023 for DHL eCommerce UK?

“The economic climate has been a challenge for most businesses and we’re no different. But it pushed us to listen to customer needs, drive efficiency and focus on our people. We achieved Great Place To Work status again in 2023.

2023 was also about preparing for growth. We’re mid-way through the build of our 2nd hub, alongside a transformation programme to enable the growth – covering people, processes, systems… everything!”

What are your big goals for 2024?

“Delivering great quality is our focus. Our customers expect us to get things right first time, but if things go wrong the resolution should be quick, easy and supported with empathy. We’ve worked hard to understand our customers’ feedback, but in 2024 we need to move this forward. AI will be a great enabler.”

What’s next for DHL eCommerce’s sustainability strategy?

“We’re moving towards the group target of Net Zero emissions by 2050. We took on new electric and Liquified Natural Gas (bio-LNG) vehicles, and the new hub will be BREEAM Excellent rated. All our new buildings will comply with the highest sustainability standards and we’re providing tree-planting offsetting opportunities for customers.”

What’s new in customer experience at DHL eCommerce UK?

“AI is the big area of discussion. Companies are starting to see how AI can be utilised, both customer-facing and internally. If AI is the change, then data is the enabler. Having deep and accurate data that automates interactions and offers up solutions is key, but this is often the barrier for businesses. And there’s the issue of trust: trust in how companies are using data, and the security of data, is really important to customers.”

If you’re looking to grow in 2024, consider these tips from our business leaders:


It’s good to talk! Arrange a call back with our team of eCommerce experts to find out how we can help you grow your business. We know that one size doesn’t fit all, so tell us your goals and aspirations and we’ll work with you to find the perfect solution for your needs.

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