Peak season for eCommerce in 2020 will be full of challenges – are you ready?
We are entering “peak season” for the eCommerce sector. Black Friday and Cyber Monday in late November come just before the hectic festive season, making this the busiest time of year for online retailers.
This period always presents challenges for eCommerce firms. From ensuring the website and payment solutions are sturdy enough to handle spikes in activity, through to having the logistics and shipping systems in place to get the goods from A to B without delay, there is little margin for error in November and December.
A study back in 2016 found that 87% of online shoppers viewed shipping speed as a key factor when choosing an eCommerce brand. This trend has only become more established in the intervening four years – next-day delivery is now the norm, with same-day delivery also becoming more common.
Further to this, tracking tools are also increasingly popular with consumers. People want to know when their order is dispatched and precisely when it will arrive; many like being able to track the exact whereabouts of their package in real-time.
As online shopping spikes due to consumers taking advantage of huge sales events like Black Friday – and, of course, buying Christmas presents for friends and family – eCommerce businesses’ logistics solutions are placed under scrutiny. This is particularly true in 2020.
The past eight months have demonstrated that eCommerce is on the rise as a result of COVID-19. With retail outlets forced to shut, or people no longer comfortable visiting them, shoppers have relied on online purchases more than ever.
Data from Royal Mail showed that the carrier saw a 34% year-on-year increase in parcel volumes during the first five months of 2020. Furthermore, almost 16,000 eCommerce businesses were created between March and July – more than double the 6,700 incorporations in 2019.
Demand for eCommerce is on the rise. So too is the demand for rapid delivery times. As such, while the sector is one of the few beneficiaries of the pandemic, companies in this space cannot afford to be complacent because customers will not hesitate in swapping between retailers if the quality of the service is not up to standard.
It is imperative that any business, however little or large, that is selling goods online has robust shipping solutions in place. This must take into account the added complexities presented by the coronavirus – for example, with fewer staff able to work in warehouses, customs offices or distribution centres, it is possible that vendors could experience delays when delivering orders.
Choosing the right logistics partners is key. Specifically, eCommerce firms must find out which companies have suitable measures in place to ensure packages can still reach customers within the promised time, whether that is three hours or three days.
Peak season has a habit of separating the stronger eCommerce outfits from the weaker ones. This is not only about the online shopping experience, but the seamless completion of deliveries.
This year’s peak season will be unlike any other – it is fair to expect more shopping to be done online than ever before, while COVID-19 continues to present challenges in the logistics centre. Those vendors that are best prepared for these challenges are likely to stand head and shoulders above the rest.