Speedy logistics needed to earn e-commerce revenues says SEKO

30 / 01 / 2018

  • Picture: SEKO Logistics

Retailers and e-tailers that react quickest to the shift in e-commerce consumer behaviour for speed of delivery and product returns will earn customer loyalty and revenue growth, states SEKO Logistics.

The UK is currently the third largest e-commerce market in the world, with 46% of UK small and medium enterprises (SMEs) exporting and receiving revenue from overseas, and reporting a revenue growth rate of 1.8% versus just 1.2% for domestic-only operations.

However, says SEKO, nearly all cross-border movements happen via airfreight and the “lack of available aircraft capacity, combined with demand outstripping supply in a buoyant market, means standard offerings will become more expensive”.

The ability to provide a “reasonable transit time at a reasonable cost will become a growing vector over the short- to medium-term,” SEKO believes.

Justin Irvine, commercial director of SEKO Omni-Channel Logistics, told the Delivery Conference audience in London: “The world of e-commerce is shifting in the way people buy goods and their expectations of how quickly they want their goods. Expectations bring challenges, every region being a little different, especially when they are on the other side of the world.

“However, this is not as scary or daunting as you think, nor as costly. Express delivery to Asia Pacific, for example, is now cheaper than express delivery to most of Europe.”

Irvine continued: “Speed and service drive growth. It is already clear that consumers shop more and have higher cart spends with companies providing consistently higher service levels.

“And, quite often they are willing to pay to receive a better service once they have confidence in a retailer/e-tailers’ ability to deliver. This is driving growth of e-commerce express or premium shipping options and expectations.”

Irvine added: “In the case of a UK retailer, they can now deliver to Asia and Australasia – collectively the largest e-commerce growth market in the world – in 2-3 days for under £10.00.

“Companies that deploy these increased service levels can expect to see their businesses grow 1.6 times faster.”

Claire Muir, SEKO’s commercial director – fulfilment and contract logistics, said: “Research shows that 67% of shoppers check the returns page before making a purchase and 92% will buy something again if returns are easy.

“Speed of returns and refunding customers has only just become a real focus for businesses as the analysis of how important an easy, hassle-free returns policy promotes strong loyalty and repeat buyers.

“With integrated returns providers now available to work with, companies can now refund customers from parcel drop-off/collection in 3-5 calendar days. This is the new norm – and it is driving the growth in online sales.”

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