The Internet has removed boundaries for trade. Now, even the smallest business can have global ambitions, selling via the web to an ecommerce audience that, at the last count, numbered some 220 million active users.
Dash is the latest service offering from Amazon to arrive in the UK. Originally launched in the US in March 2015, the physical instant purchase button brings one-push buying for everyday essential items including nappies, toilet roll, dishwasher tablets and washing powder. The branded wireless buttons are connected to an Amazon account and instantly enable the user to replenish household items.
A contractual loophole reportedly allows Amazon customers to get their money back for items they have bought from the website without having to return their purchases. This recent revelation applies to items under – £10 but what does it say about retail industry attitudes to returns in general? Above all, this move highlights Amazon’s financial ability to write off returns. However, small independent online retailers may not be in the same position to implement such a policy. Ultimately, for most retailers ignoring returns can lead to heavy repercussions. Research by Harris Interactive shows that 85% of customers say that they will stop buying from a retailer if the returns process is a hassle. Therefore it is essential that retailers get the returns process right in order to deliver a strong customer experience – so what are the key steps to returns success?
Missed deliveries continue to be a point of pain for many online consumers. Indeed according to a recent study by Engage Hub, nearly one in four consumers in the UK say that missed deliveries are caused by poor communication from delivery companies. Ultimately consumers want to feel in control about when they receive their online purchases; failure to meet this expectation can have damaging repercussions for the retailer with competition just one click away.
While France and Germany have traditionally represented the most popular expansion destinations for the UK’s ecommerce retailers, only a handful have looked to Russia to grow sales. Entering this massive market comes with delivery challenges but according to Gary Tervitt, International Sales Director at P2P Mailing, these shouldn’t deter businesses from tapping into the potential of the region.
When Amazon first announced plans to test drone delivery back in 2013, many dismissed it as a publicity stunt. Yet less than three years later the retail giant is attempting to make this pioneering concept a reality, in partnership with the UK government.
Data released from Forrester earlier this year revealed that global cross-border trade will grow more than domestic trade in the UK, US and EU over the next ten years. The report states that cross-border sales will grow 17% between 2017 and 2022, compared with 12% growth for ecommerce generally.
Retailers and their delivery partners are having to work harder than ever to improve the delivery experience for the consumer. According to research from Accenture 42% of UK consumers under the age of 37 say that same day or next day delivery is very important to them. Ultimately the growth of online retail has been matched with the growth of consumer expectations and failure to get the delivery solution right can have damaging repercussions for the retailer, with consumers’ just one click away from going to a competitor.
The boundaries between social media and ecommerce are becoming increasingly blurred. There are over 2.5 billion users between Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat, and this represents a huge potential market place for retailers. Indeed, a recent study has revealed that nearly a third of online shoppers (31%) are already using social media networks to browse for new items to buy. Essentially, technology is changing the face of shopping, and social media networks are tapping into these trends, from ‘buy now’ buttons on Twitter through to ‘buyable pins’ on Pinterest.
The result of the EU referendum came as a genuine surprise to many – including those campaigning most vociferously to leave. Less surprisingly, the outcome has left British business in a state of flux. The value of the pound has see-sawed since the vote and each passing day delivers headlines of major corporations re-locating or considering their UK future.