2018 was a roller coaster ride for the retail industry and 2019 looks set to be an equally interesting year of shifting consumer behaviour necessitating a whole new way of looking at delivery. Here’s the first five of our top 10 predictions for what to expect in the 12 months ahead:
For years now cost and convenience have been the watchwords of the retail industry. However, the signs are that consumers are becoming more conscientious about the wider impacts of their shopping…
1. A growing consumer awareness of the impact of delivery choices
Consumers are waking up to the impact of their delivery choices with 77% now saying they’re conscious of, or care deeply about the environment when thinking about how they receive their deliveries (Metapack: State of eCommerce Delivery 2018).
That’s just one of the reasons C&C volumes are predicted to increase by 95% by 2022 while home delivery volumes are set to experience single digit growth (IMRG Click & Collect Report 2018).
A new way of looking at physical store estates
We’ve seen more and more retailers scrutinising where the true value of their physical store estates lies and it’s certainly not just in showcasing collections anymore….
2. More in-store and from-store fulfilment
Increasing numbers of retailers will look to work their physical store estates as hard as possible, not just as showrooms, but as fulfilment centres that blur the boundaries between the online and offline shopping experience and help make ‘out of stock’ a frustration of the past.
3. Injecting theatre into the delivery experience
Until now fulfilment has been viewed as a purely functional experience. But the most forward-looking brands are waking up to it being a vital component of the overall brand experience. We anticipate many more brands following Nike’s lead (with their NY Speed Shop) in creating an experience out of fulfilling shoppers’ online orders in-store.
Greater consumer choice
4. Greater visibility around alternative delivery options
Until now the majority of retailers have positioned home delivery as the default delivery option.
But with over 30% of Millennials and Gen X saying they would choose ‘an alternative pick up location’ as their preferred delivery option if offered (UPS: Pulse of the Online Shopper 2017) and consumers increasingly looking for more sustainable options, retailers are going to have to start offering a suite of delivery options that are as visible as home delivery to keep pace with consumer demand.
Last month SHIFT magazine even went as far as to say that free C&C should be the new high street industry standard because of growing consumer demand coupled with the environmental and economic benefits of consolidated deliveries and the need to drive footfall into stores.
5. A continuing boom in the subscriptions market
Subscription based offerings have been one of the big recent retail success and the trend shows no sign of slowing. The Royal Mail predict subscription services will grow by 72% by 2022 with 40% of UK consumers saying they’ll join more schemes in the future.
However, we think there are two significant considerations brands will have to take into account. The increasing threat of same and next day fulfilment and the public’s tolerance for novelty offerings.
We predict the winners in the subscription space will be those with robust offerings tied to a deep understanding of lifestyle (see Gousto and Cornerstone) and retailers that come up with exciting new brand collaborations to offer something truly unique.
So that was our number 1-5. Keep an eye out over the next few days for 5-10 and of course if you want to chat through the implications of any of these trends for your business feel free to start a conversation with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to help you out…