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Booming E-commerce and the Changing Shopping Landscape – How to Handle the Parcel Chaos That Comes With It?

13.07.2022 | Cleveron, Automatisation, e-commerce
It is no surprise that e-commerce is booming; Covid-19 contributed to the surge. Fear of viruses and lockdown measures have changed the customers’ shopping habits, and more people prefer to shop online. Online shoppers spent 20% more money in 2020 than they did in 2019. This number is believed to increase by 11% every year. Let's face it, shopping online is convenient and time-saving. By 2025, according to Statista, it is predicted that people will spend 7.4 trillion USD online, which is a 43% growth compared to 2021. Now imagine the vast number of parcels that need to be delivered. What are the most effective ways to handle the parcel crisis without sacrificing customer satisfaction?

Is There Anything You Can’t Buy Online?
Even though you can touch and inspect the product at a brick-and-mortar store, one must admit that online shopping has an appeal to it – you can do it on your comfy sofa at home or even on a train on your everyday commute. It is very easy: browsing, adding items to the chart, and paying without hassle. You don’t have to find a parking spot and queue at the checkout when shopping online.

Several years ago, it seemed impossible that people would buy clothes online because they couldn't check their fit before purchasing. Now, clothes are the second most popular online shopping category, and people spend 17% more on clothes each year. The most popular product type is electronics, which is expected to grow by 11% per year. However, the past two years have entirely changed customers’ shopping habits. More and more people are now also buying their weekly groceries online. According to Statista, the most significant increase in the following years will be in grocery shopping. Food and beverage spending will see a 37% increase yearly. How many products can you name that can’t be bought online?

What makes people prefer shopping online? Convenience, convenience, convenience. Online shopping is fast and easy; many retailers offer free shipping when a shopping cart exceeds a certain amount. 51% of shoppers cite free delivery as their primary reason to shop online according to Statista. The other top five reasons are discounts, customer reviews, an easy check-out process and next-day delivery. However, how much does free next-day delivery actually cost? The exact price is difficult to know, but one thing is certain – it is already hidden within the product's price. 

How to Offer Free Next-day Delivery and Save Money?
If they don’t have the workforce to solve deliveries in-house, retailers have to outsource deliveries to third parties logistics companies. Having in-house delivery teams means higher labour costs and having to deal with finding skilled long-term employees. Outsourcing the workforce is even more expensive. Yet, there is another possibility. What about the automatisation of the last-mile delivery? In-store click-and-collect solutions make it easy for retailers to deliver online orders efficiently and for customers to receive their parcels within seconds. Retailers like Inditex (Zara) and Falabella have already automated their last-mile delivery and installed Cleveron’s parcel robots inside their stores. Parcel robots enable retailers to offer free and quick parcel handover. The speed of delivery depends on how quickly the store associate inserts the order into the machine. Falabella, Latin America's largest retailer, increased its parcel collection efficiency by 800% thanks to parcel collection automatisation, and 60% of orders are now collected through click-and-collect terminals.

Yet, click-and-collect solutions aren’t just for big retailers. Parcel lockers are a perfect solution for small and medium-sized enterprises. Parcel lockers offer flexibility for customers in parcel pick up but also allow them to collect their orders without delivery costs. The service is also contactless, vital in today’s circumstances. Parcel lockers and robots are therefore excellent solutions if the retailer is seeking to improve customer service and offer quick and free parcel delivery.

Booming e-commerce has raised customers’ expectations regarding online shopping, contactless parcel pickup and fast delivery. As free delivery is the main reason people shop online, parcel handover automatisation is necessary for excellent customer service. From click-and-collect points, customers can collect their orders within seconds, and they don’t have to wait in the store for several minutes until the store associate finds their order from the storage room. As automation frees store associates’ time, it allows them to focus on more value-adding tasks and provides them with a more personalized experience.

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Tarmo Tamm

Chief Sales Officer

E-mail: [email protected]