Gone are times when you resorted to ordering products online because you couldn’t find what you want on the high street. Followed by the long wait for your overdue delivery. Now online is your first port of call.
2018 saw huge steps in the development of intelligent technology and the ways in which it’s integrated into not only the process of getting parcels to your customers but also how they purchase them online and the systems used to push the boundaries of personalisation, and the ability to predict spending behaviours. This spells for continued demand on how, when and what consumers will expect from their online purchase.
Throughout 2017 into 2018 online shopping continued to be the most popular online activity worldwide. With global sales reaching 2.3 trillion dollars worldwide.
If you want to grow your reach and increase your sales, get your products into India, Mexico or China as in 2018 they were the fastest growing markets across the globe. This is no surprise to us at P2P as one of our most lucrative destinations is China. We sent over 1,400,000 parcels to China, that’s 185,000 more than in 2017.
China is set to account for a third of total retail sales in 2019.
How do your customers prefer to make purchases online? Whilst desktop orders are still the favourite when it comes to shopping online, mobile and tablet orders are catching up. With Amazon, Apple and JD.com leading the global e-retailers market based on m-commerce sales, this might indicate we can expect to see a change in behaviours from e-shoppers in 2019, when it comes to devices used.
Have a look at our latest m-commerce article on how to make sure you’re optimising all aspects of m-commerce for your business.
As we mentioned earlier during 2018 digitalisation and tracking abilities within delivery continued to dominate the industry giving retailers and their customers full visibility when it comes to ordering online.
This continued development of intelligent programming will inevitably encourage behaviours demanding quicker delivery times, greater convince and more choice.
Parcel processing systems are now able to sort 20,000 parcels an hour making for a more efficient industry.
According to the IPC global postal report the sector is boasting 4.6 % growth year on year. The continuation of this growth will rely heavily on the e-commerce industry and force the delivery sector to keep on top of new and intelligent distribution solutions.
The delivery industry gets its money from four main sources:
1. Parcels and express
2. Logistics and freight
3. Financial services
Mail dominates 40% of that income. Although it’s not performing quite as well as in previous years its now allowing parcels and express which are up by 11% to begin its takeover and give carriers the opportunity to expand and remain the beneficiaries of growth for online retail.
What to expect in 2019
Expect to see postal operators grow in 2019 as they seek international opportunities.
These cross-border opportunities consist of online shoppers looking further afield to purchase e-commerce products online from not just neighbouring countries but across the entire globe. These behaviours have been growing year on year for the past 5 years.
With greater availability, choice and smart delivery solutions retailers and carriers should expect to see an increase of up to 80% in returns. The majority of this is expected to be clothing followed by electrical items.
60% of online shoppers won't shop with you again if they have to return something. The way to lessen this figure is by considering the “try before you buy” model to gain trust in your brand as 42% said this would encourage them to shop again.
Our top tips for 2019
Whether you are a start-up with global ambitions, or a successful UK business, P2P works closely with companies of all sizes to help them take their products overseas and consider new export destinations. We have some simple and easy to implement tips that we’d encourage any business with ambitions beyond the borders of the UK, to consider.
1. Your website
Firstly, if you already ship internationally, be clear about it on your homepage. People want to know right away that your goods are accessible to them. You should also consider offering a tracked shipping service, giving customers the opportunity to choose between a tracked or untracked service. Evidence shows that introducing tracked shipping leads to higher shopping cart spend, It’s not unusual to see increases of up to 70%.
A tracked option also drives repeat custom. Our customers see a 20% increase in repeat custom as a result of having a tracked shipping option, increasing the Lifetime Customer Value.
Find out about our tracked service here.
2. Returns policy
Coupled with tracked shipping, it’s important that you consider your returns policy. Customers value the ability to return unwanted goods and a quick and easy returns policy increases trust and encourages customers to buy more.
Some 72% of customers said they were either “likely” or “somewhat likely” to shop more with a retailer that made the returns process easier according to the ‘MetaPack 2016 State of E-commerce Delivery Report’
Language options on your website are important too. You’ve succeeded in getting someone to your site and now you want to keep them there by ensuring it’s as accessible as possible. Studies have shown a 20% increase in conversion when landing pages and adverts were translated into the local language and a staggering 70% when websites were fully localised. 56% of the shoppers said the ability to obtain information in their own language is even more important than price
4. Payment options
Payment options are also a key consideration; find out what the popular payment platforms are in your target markets. For example, in China the instant messaging app WeChat has a mobile payment service that has more than 300 million customer bank cards registered.
5. Taxes and customs
We hear regularly from businesses new to exporting that they find the prospect of navigating customs and taxes daunting, but it doesn’t need to be. P2P can offer guidance when it comes to these challenges and there is a wealth of information and resource available to support you. Online retailers can also take advantage of additional services such as Delivery Duties Paid. Shoppers like to be clear about costs and our customers see uplift in sales when they make it clear on their website that local duties or sales taxes are included in the price quoted, as it eliminates any sense of uncertainty.
From then to now
We were established just 10 years ago and have seen phenomenal growth. From 2017 to 2018 we have increased our staff numbers by more than half. our carriers by more than 40% and our postal services by 50%. Now a FedEx owned company with over 299 members of staff, multiple warehouses and the ability to ship to over 220 countries and territories.