Written by Sofia Newcombe
It’s not an easy time to be a retailer. The ups and downs of a pandemic, supply chain shortages, talk of downturns and myriad other global events have all created an environment that could best be described as “tricky”.
As you can probably imagine, that can make it hard to give advice. After all, what works for one retailer may not necessarily work for another. But it’s our job to help guide eCommerce retailers, and there are some nuggets of gold out there right – if you know where to look.
That’s where this article comes in.
Along with our own research (which you can dive into fully here), we’ve pulled together 35 eCommerce, shipping and fulfilment stats that you can use to shape your own strategy this year.
That’s right – eCommerce continues to cement itself as a core buying channel for Australian consumers. But that isn’t to say brick and mortar retail is going anywhere, with total retail turnover hitting $411 billion in 2022.
Did you know that 3 in 4 Australians consider at least some element of sustainability when they buy online? If you're thinking of ways to grow the sustainable side of your business, consider how you might introduce more sustainable packaging, or perhaps a carbon offset with your delivery options.
Respondents to our survey said it was very important to offer a range of delivery options at checkout. Top options included Express, Overnight, Same day and Pick up in Store. Why does this matter? Well, 60% of respondents to a DigitalCommerce360 survey said they’d chosen one retailer over another because the delivery options were preferable.
Delivery speed ranks as a top motivator for customers. One study found 67 percent of online shoppers would pay more to get same-day delivery if they needed the package for an important deadline. And how should you do this? It all comes down to the courier. Uber, for example, is a great way to introduce same-day delivery.
The excitement customers feel when a package is on the way can quickly turn to frustration if the initial delivery timeline isn’t met. Shopify found that more than two-thirds of shoppers are less likely to buy from businesses that don’t inform them of shipping delays.
While the world is starting to move on and recover, the pandemic-era supply issues will take longer to resolve. 39% of brands say shipping and manufacturing delays – and shipping costs – will continue to be a challenge throughout 2023.
One study from the World Economic Forum estimates that, in spite of supply chain issues and the recent pandemic, global parcel deliveries will climb by 78% by 2030.
Coming in over six times higher than products purchased in a retail store, packaging is a problem retailers will need to deal with sooner rather than later. Luckily, there are good options available.
What is load balancing? Well, load balancing means distributing incoming inventory across multiple distribution centres, instead of sending all stock to a warehouse. One study has found that load balancing a warehouse can save up to 25% on shipping costs.
For retailers looking to scale, 3PLs offer an attractive set up. Many retailers agree, with one study finding that the market will grow by 8.5% this year. 37% of respondents to that same survey said they would hire or change 3PL providers in 2023.
Retailers are using smart software to save time and money: 80% of our survey respondents said they were already using shipping automation software.
Learn more about shipping software on our features page.
Inventory management software gives retailers visibility over their operations and cuts down costs. 32% of our survey respondents said they planned to implement inventory management software this year.
69% of small businesses expect increased revenue and sales in 2023 and 65% forecast greater profits.
Aggregators may work when you’re small, but they quickly become a constraint. Instead of having little to no control over courier costs, retailers can negotiate with their couriers directly and keep a handle on costs as their business grows.
74% of our survey respondents said they preferred to negotiate their own courier rates instead of using courier aggregator services.
Last year, 50% of brands said unifying online and in-store operations would be their biggest challenge through 2023. And the solution?
To solve this in-store/online conundrum, 53% of brands are investing in tools that allow them to sell anywhere. This means omnichannel fulfilment involving smart shipping and inventory management solutions.
One study found that 54% of consumers say that in 2023, they’re likely to look at a product online and buy it in a retail store.
For Australian retailers looking for export opportunities, growing markets in the US, China, South East Asia and beyond signal an opportunity.
Two years ago, 58% of all online shoppers would pay for sustainable options. Now 90% of Gen X will, up from 34% in 2020.
Gen Z will have a higher global income than millennials by 2031 and their influence is expected to drive more sustainable trends. As we said earlier, shipping is an area ripe for improvement – with the ability to move to sustainable packaging an easy win.
While it may seem counter intuitive at first, if you make it easy for customers to return items, they’ll be more likely to come back in future. Shopify found that 92% of people who make a return will shop with a retailer again if they can offer a good returns experience.
In one survey, 84% of customers said they wouldn’t make a repeat purchase after just one poor delivery experience. Remember: A negative shipping experience can cause irreparable damage to your brand.
83% of buyers want regular communication regarding their order status. This means sending personalised, branded order update emails linking to branded tracking pages.
91% of buyers say they are more likely to shop with a brand that gives personalised offers and recommendations than one that doesn’t.
One Deloitte study found that strategic price management can increase margins by up to 7% in 12 months. This means digging into your data to discover how your customers shop. Perhaps it’s something as simple as your shipping costs holding them back?
57% of respondents to one survey said they buy products from overseas. This is a huge opportunity for many retailers willing to investigate international markets. Smart shipping software can make this much easier.
24% of online shoppers abandon a card if they’re asked to create an account. Our suggestion? Use a guest checkout feature with optional account creation.
Online card abandonment on mobile, according to one study, sits at 84%. In most cases, this speaks to the low effort many companies put into their mobile shopping experiences.
Social media eCommerce is estimated to climb to $2.9 trillion by 2026, up from $992 billion in 2020. For retailers without a strong social selling presence, now is the time to change.
According to one recent study, 61% of online consumers in the US have made a purchase based on a recommendation from a blog – sparking the importance of the platform for retailers.
84% of online shoppers rank packages not arriving as a top concern. As a retailer, there’s a lot you can do to alleviate these concerns, primarily through regular post-purchase delivery updates.
One study found that 61% of consumers prefer to be contacted by brands via email. What does this mean for you? Pay attention to both your standard product emails and your post-purchase emails – both are important marketing opportunities.
OptinMonster found that exit-intent surveys helped one customer recover 53% of abandoning visitors. You can take this further with follow-up emails, although make sure you don’t overwhelm your prospective customers with communications.
We all like getting products as quickly as possible after we click “buy now”. But did you know that 22% of people will drop out of an online shopping session because of slow delivery times? What’s worse is that they’ll usually go straight to competitor. As we said earlier, this could be the right time to introduce faster delivery speeds.
While there’s a lot that’s out of our control right now, you can take control of your eCommerce shipping to reduce costs, improve your customer experience and grow your business.
With Starshipit, a shipping automation platform, you can easily add new couriers and eCommerce platforms to your setup, create email and SMS notifications, branded tracking pages, manage returns and more.
Give yourself a competitive edge and get in touch with one of the team today or read how other retailers (like you) are already finding success with shipping automation.