According to the Royal Mail Delivery Matters Report (2018) the proportion of online spend has increased again year on year to 87% vs. 80% in 2017. They key reasons people choose to buy online are still convenience and price, but there are changing trends within this market.
The use of laptops and desktop computers to shop online is down, whereas using smartphones is up by 39%. The importance of social media is growing here, too, with 22% of customers purchasing items after seeing posts or comments on social media.
E-commerce customers generally tend to be the younger demographic that consists more so of women than men places convenience above all and doesn’t care as much about where they go to return their shopping as long as its nearby and easy to use. In many cases a customer who returns items will also collect them from the same place so catering to both needs is important.
Our e-commerce customers:
• Our fastest growing segment by volume
• They have busy lifestyles and want speed and convenience
• They want us to be open as per advertised opening hours
Click and Collect
This segment is growing at a rate of approximately 20% year on year, and building relevancy with this group is essential as they are the customers of tomorrow.
While 2 in 3 prefer home delivery, 72% would trust their local Post Office as a suitable alternative. 3 in 5 respondents to the Royal Mail Delivery Matters survey had used Click & Collect, with 42% stating that it was more convenient.
These customers value choice and convenience above all, and while convenience means something different for each customer, this service caters to the younger demographic who prioritise speed and efficiency.
Our key competitor in this area is Collect+.
We currently have a large returns business and this year already we have seen our returns volume at its highest ever. But the competition is heating up here. These customers, similarly to Click & Collect, tend to be younger and value speed of service alongside convenience. With Black Friday approaching it is likely there will be an uptake in the volume of returns as it’s estimated £1.54bn will be spend online during Black Friday (+13.2% on last year). Let your customers know about click and collect and returns by sharing these posts on social media.
Many retailers offer extended dates for refunds and exchanges and we expect to see Returns customers visiting branches well into the New Year. And with new developments in Labels to Go with Amazon which launched this week in branches, we have even more opportunities to support our customers and provide a great service.
Getting the basics rights is key
We need to get the basics right for every customer. To support branches ahead of the biggest trading period, we have made all the resources from the recent Mails workshops available, whether you were unable to attend or want to give your team a refresher before Christmas hits.
Click here to log in and find all the materials, along with ideas for quick sessions you can run with your team, whether you have half a day, half an hour or just 10 minutes.