E-commerce is everywhere. In the most recent figures from the government, the value of UK e-commerce sales was placed at £533bn in the same year.
This is because it’s now even easier for consumers to purchase products and services from retailers, with a wide range of options, fast delivery and simple returns.
So what are the benefits of living in an e-commerce world?
When you purchase online, particularly in a big city, there are more delivery options. Same day, next day and instant delivery options are more likely to tempt customers, with research stating that 72% of customers said they would shop more if there were more delivery options.
UK retailers are catching on, with 82% of the top UK retailers offering next day delivery, thanks to streamlined processes and instant delivery services.
Instant returns are win-win — for both consumers and retailers. The cost of returns for UK retailers is estimated at a massive £60bn every year. Consumers can book a collection slot and have a parcel courier service collect their return within the same or next day.
Using instant returns, retailers can turn their stock around much more quickly and get items back out for sale. When items are returned within the season it allows the retailer to sell the items on again, which is particularly beneficial in fast-moving markets like fashion.
E-commerce experts PCA Predict conducted a survey on shopper habits and found that 16% of all shopping was done on a Monday, with spikes at 1pm and 8pm. One of the greatest opportunities for retail is the 24/7 ability to purchase, which is ideal for impulse buying areas such as clothing, books and lower cost electronics purchases.
By having e-commerce solutions that allow 24/7 purchasing, coupled with instant, same day and next day delivery, an environment is created which allows UK consumers to spend £21.7bn on impulse buys each year.
Shopping from anywhere
E-commerce means we can purchase from our bedroom, our sofa, at the gym, in store, on a car journey, or even thousands of miles away from home.
Being able to order online, and then arrange to collect a purchase in-store, arrange collection from a specific pick-up point, or have an item delivered at home at a convenient time, opens up the door to a flexible way of shopping which benefits the consumer, increasing spending which in turns benefits the retailer.
More choice than the high street
Retail shops on the high street incur many costs, such as rent, business rates, heating and lighting etc., as well as staffing costs, within their shops. This means that space, particularly in expensive shopping areas, is at a premium.
Ranges are more limited due to this, and this is one of the reasons that 80% of us now shop online. With an unlimited virtual online store, shoppers have much more choice than they would online. Savvy retailers now offer quick ways for shoppers to get their items, such as same day delivery in London, making purchasing not dissimilar to that of the high-street retail variety.