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26 October 2020 The on-line newspaper devoted to the world of transports 13:11 GMT+1

October 8, 2020

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The pandemic has given e-commerce a strong boost, but challenges still face are many

Study of logistics group Geodis in collaboration with Accenture Interactive

One of the few economic activities global data, have not been heavily affected by the effects of Covid-19 pandemic is that of e-commerce, which has indeed benefited from a strong up to online sales driven by the global health crisis. This is confirmed by the study "Getting Ecommerce logistics right: faster, leaner, scalable" designed by logistics group Geodis in collaboration with the Accenture Interactive by Accenture, a company that operates in the field professional services.

The research is the result of interviews with 200 European companies (60%) American (40%) nine sectors (consumer electronics, fashion and sports, luxury, furniture, body care, non-food perishables, household products, games and toys) that are both online and with a network of sales stores and have an annual turnover of between 100 million and 20 billion Dollars. Companies were asked about the expectations of e-commerce sales growth,

The study confirms that the pandemic has significantly accelerated growth in online commerce, sales channel - points out the study -- through which this year will be carried out almost half of companies' sales compared to 34% before crisis when, on average, 28% of sales took place in the marketplaces and 6% on company websites. The report points out that during the lockdown 65% of sales are 38% through marketplaces and 27% online company's online sites. An increase in sales online that has been more marked in Europe than United States. However, European companies that do not have online sales solutions have been heavily penalised: the 40% of the companies surveyed estimate that lost sales at Covid-19 will exceed 15% of their revenue on average.

A second study result indicates that many companies (the 52% of the total) believe that their e-commerce potential is limited by their logistical capabilities. "Many brands - explained Sohel Aziz, managing director of Accenture Interactive - use marketplaces as their only sales channel online for their products. This allows them to reach a general public and compensate for the lack of resources and infrastructure ensuring an adequate customer experience customers' expectations."

The study specifies that 59% of European companies rely on marketplaces for their online sales, an even greater number us (46%). Marketplaces held a market share of 28% in the period before pandemic, which rose to 38% during the crisis Health.

Most of the companies surveyed, however, consider over-reliance on marketplaces is unsustainable and want to shift that balance more towards the owned e-commerce. Nearly two-thirds (64%) Have claimed that reducing this dependency will be the first or the second priority for the next six months. In in particular, 77% of American companies and 56% of those interviewed countries would like to sell directly to the consumers through their websites within the next three years, with 20% of their total sales through this channel.

"Direct sales from companies' websites - Aziz - currently account for 5% to 8% of online sales. Brands would like to increase them to 20% or 30% in three to five years. The survey shows that companies are aware that the improvement of their skills logistics, such as the customer experience, through customization of delivery and tracking options or customer's ability to change their orders, it is priority to achieve this goal.'

In addition, the study shows that 76% of companies interviewees said that the improvement in customer experience is their biggest long-term challenge. "The customer experience - said Ashwani Nath, Deputy President and Head of Geodis e-channel solutions includes the shopping experience and delivery experience. Brands strive to provide a delivery experience that equals at the time of purchase. Among other things, this means provide better e-fulfillment, providing a range of options flexible delivery, more practical tracking and returns simple ones.'

Research shows that 38% of American companies currently offers shipments that are made over two to three days nationally and 56% plan to do so within three years, compared with 25% and 57% for European companies respectively. For international (intercontinental) shipments, currently no American company offers shipments made in two to three days, even though 17% would like to achieve them within the next three years; The 15% offer delivery in four to five days and 66% plan to enable this possibility within the next three years. For As far as European companies are concerned, none currently guarantees two- to three-day international shipments, although 7% count make them available within the next three years, and 4% offer four- to five-day shipments, while 76% hope to do so within the next three years.

The study specifies that other challenges and challenges are also emerging explains that, although they differ between the United States and Europe, actions taken are similar: companies have worked to provide greater shipping flexibility and streamline returns (80% of the brands surveyed recently striven to provide a process of restitution of the more accessible product). However, the survey indicates that only 16% of the companies surveyed are able to obtain Real-time key performance indicator for your supply chain (only 25% of American companies and 10% of European companies states that they have access to the information). In addition, 40% of European companies say that their analytical skills and generate data in a fragmented way.

"Only a minority of them -- Nath clarified -- has the real-time visibility of supply chain inventory, This visibility is essential to ensure availability of the product, offer a variety of shipping options and inform the customer of the status of the shipping the product, thus meeting its needs. Behind the scenes this means optimizing the logistical cost each order and overcome many logistical challenges: to reconcile the physical with digital, maintain a real-time inventory, optimize stock, manage transportation, organize orders and at the same time deal with a number of procedures and partners. All of this will help companies to use better physical resources and gain a competitive advantage. This - noted Ashwani Nath - requires the integration of stores with e-commerce networks that serve as processing centers for orders, collection points, shipping facilities, and distribution centers Distribution. One thing is certain: the warehouse will have to be closer to the end customer, regardless of where it is, to ensure speed and availability."

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