The Covid-19 pandemic shifted retail more online than ever – this e-commerce growth is great news for those in the courier sector. Read more to learn how you can make the most of this increased demand for retail delivery.
E-commerce is on the rise
The COVID-19 pandemic saw a significant shift to online shopping due to the temporary closure of shops. However, despite a gradual reduction in COVID-19 related restrictions and shops beginning to open again, research indicates that ecommerce growth is expected to continue. E-commerce is on the rise due to many consumers intending to continue online shopping; likely due to the added convenience it offers. With next day deliveries and easy returns as well as instant access to millions of items, consumers can save the considerable time and effort of travelling to and from shops and searching for the right item. Additionally, online shopping means avoiding the COVID-19 risk factors that come with traditional ‘in store’ shopping. This makesit more appealing to some, especially vulnerable consumers. Precautionary measures such as no-contact deliveries are also remaining for the time being, adding another benefit to ecommerce.
What this means for couriers
As reported by Shopify, ecommerce may slow a little during 2021 due to the considerable growth experienced in 2020, but will pick up again in 2022. Increased online shopping means more deliveries to be made and more business for couriers. McKinsey estimates that parcels will be equal in volume to mail by 2025. As a result, there will be increased competition and pressure to provide an optimal consumer experience. A significant part of this consumer experience is product delivery. Shopify have established fulfilment as a ‘competitive differentiator’ in their 5 Trends for the Future of Ecommerce emphasising the importance of fast, free and sustainable delivery. Flexible delivery options are also a key part of the competitive advantage that fulfilment can provide making this a huge opportunity for couriers and courier organisations to focus on. This is especially true considering 70 to 80% of ecommerce purchases are delivered, not picked up in store.
Couriers can utilise new technologies such as delivery management software to improve efficiency and flexibility of delivery. This can result in shorter delivery times, fewer stops and reduced fuel consumption which could mean an overall greater profit margin. By automating tasks, delivery management software can provide intelligent route planning and scheduling, and easy communication between driver and customer/employer. Couriers can utilise the ability to easily communicate with customers to provide them with accurate arrival times. In turn, this benefits the consumer experience. This is important to retailers and should therefore be important to couriers as a good reputation will help to give you competitive advantage over other courier organisations. Employers can also use delivery management software to instantly access data relating to tracking and recording of deliveries. They can also track all of their driver locations via GPS, making last minute changes easier to coordinate.
The e-commerce trend is here to stay. Now is a great time to get ahead in the courier industry or begin your career as a courier!
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