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Unboxed: How ecommerce is changing the delivery landscape

By Don-Alvin Adegeest


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London - The continually evolving retail landscape is changing how shopping behaviour is affecting both in-store and online experiences and more importantly, changing customer expectations.

As online shopping is now integral to our daily lives, leading retailers, brands and marketplaces can no longer afford to be complacent about the role delivery management plays in their digital store strategies.

According to MetaPack’s White Paper: Unboxing Europe’s Future Delivery Landscape, 50 percent of shoppers surveyed for the MetaPack 2017 State of eCommerce Delivery Consumer Research Report indicated that they had abandoned online shopping carts because the delivery choices were unsatisfactory, or did not meet their needs.

The message, thus, when it comes to retaining customers, building loyalty and reaching new audiences, is the quality of delivery has the power to make or break the online shopping experience.

The study by MetaPack evaluates the key trends set to influence delivery models and shape the ecommerce value chains of today and beyond. On their website they state they partnered with local and global associations to provide the latest industry data, facts and insights, gathered through a series of comprehensive surveys and reports, to keep up with innovation and transformation in the business. Here are some of the findings:

Brands are going direct to consumer

The number of manufacturers selling directly to consumers grew 71 percent in 2016. Already under attack by dominant conglomerates like Amazon, retailers must now also worry about their wholesalers selling direct via the Internet.

Consumer demands are evolving

MetaPack’s 2017 consumer research reveals 54 percent of shoppers now want a one-hour delivery in metropolitan areas and 15 percent want the freedom to reschedule deliveries. Furthermore, a growing number of consumers are now prioritising convenience over cost with 35 percent of online shoppers saying they are happy to pay to get items delivered when and where they want.

57 percent of shoppers say they would be likely/very likely to use a try-before-you-buy service. Mastering fulfilment and returns agility and achieving economies of scale will be critical for providers looking to capitalise on this burgeoning opportunity.

A new era of socially aware shoppers

Over a quarter (27 percent) of shoppers say they care a great deal about the environmental toll of their online deliveries, with a further 47 percent saying they were conscious these contributed to increased tra c congestion and carbon emissions. With 71 percent of consumers expressing a preference for having all their online orders delivered in one go, a consolidated delivery approach by retailers and brands is likely to be met with overwhelming approval by conscientious consumers.

Polarisation of retail is happening

Consumer-centric relationships will require a like-minded supply chain and operating model. Some shoppers will pay more for special products, faster delivery, sustainable attributes, or higher product quality. Others will trade down to lower cost products with none of those features. Retailers will need to understand where they sit on that continuum.

Omni-channel to omni-experience

Forward thinking retailers will concentrate their e orts on creating a path to shop that integrates in-store technology, mobile, cloud, analytics and social media to boost customer engagement.

Retailers and brands must be able to predict and respond fast to the next trend – hyperlocal offerings, the conscientious consumer, social shopping and omnichannel personalisation.

Delivery price, quality and convenience will continue to drive consumer shopping behaviours – regardless of which channel they use to make a purchase. But personalisation is rising quickly up the agenda; 15 percent expect providers to re-schedule deliveries and 29 percent expect delivery to wherever they are.

Everything comes with a price

As ecommerce retail sees growth, so too does the increase in couriers, delivery companies and carbon footprints. Metropolitan leaders like London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan are looking to reduce freight traffic in a bid to lower congestion and carbon emissions in cities – introducing ‘micro-distribution’ centres and demanding shipment consolidation. It will be interesting to see the figures pertaining to the impact of deliveries on the environment and our cities.

Photo credit: Amazon parcel, Amazon website. Article source: MetaPack “Europe’s Future Delivery Landscape” white paper