Are you ready for the post pandemic retail boom? | Descartes Routing UK

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Are you ready for the post pandemic retail boom?

Over the past year online retail sales have risen to new highs with expected growth forecast for the next 5 years being realised in just a few months of 2020. During 2021 there has been an expected decline in non-food internet purchases as the High street stores reopen from lockdown.

However, it is forecast that internet retail sales will continue to rise and will be much higher by the end of this year than was predicted back in 2019 and will continue rising for the foreseeable future.

According to the Office for National Statistics in Jan 2020 internet retail as a percentage of all retail was just 20% (ONS Statistics here), twelve months later in January 2021 the percentage of internet retail had increased to 36.4%, its highest ever, and while this has decreased slightly in February 2021 it is still at 32.8% for March 2021.

ONS Internet as percentage of retail

Recent research by YouGov*, commissioned by UPS, found that the number of people who will continue to do all, or most of their shopping online had risen from 10% before the pandemic to 15% in January 2021.

The report also found that while 54% of respondents will choose to buy online because of free delivery options and 63 % cite free returns as an import factor, a whopping 79% of UK consumers said that the reliability of a retailer’s delivery partner or solution is important to them when making their purchases.

Total retail sales are expected to increase by 10% by 2025.

With these increases in retail sales, major retail companies are seen to be spending more and more on loyalty programmes in order to retain their customers or attempting to improve their online retail experience, but they should also be considering the full journey of the items purchased and the overall experience of the consumer. Retailers need to invest in delivery scheduling, route optimisation and delivery tracking solutions with the latest digital proof of delivery methods to ensure that all their other investments and hard work are not let down by a poor last mile of delivery experience.

Click here for more information about Proof of Delivery and parcel tracking solutions

*(more findings from the YouGov research here)