Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Sustainable Road Haulage Supports The Rapid Rise In Online Deliveries

Studies show that we are buying more goods online than ever before, and the delivery industry has had to ramp up quickly to handle this retail increase. Figures recently released in the UK reveal that deliveries are up, but road haulage has actually become more efficient. What does this mean for consumers and for retail businesses - and what is the future of online shopping in Britain and across the world?

The growth of online shopping

65% of people living in the EU made at least one online purchase in the past year, according to Eurostat. It seems that online shopping has finally reached its tipping point, outperforming the high street by around 1%. A recent Wall Street Journal study revealed that 51% of purchases were made online - up from 48% in 2015. Almost half of those purchases (45%) came from mobile devices. Today’s consumer shops quickly, orders while they are on the go, and wants fingertip access to the products they purchase. This is not just a UK or European trend either - from the US to Australia and from Eastern Asia to central Africa, online shopping is growing throughout the world. The ability to shop anywhere in the world is changing trade for every nation.

What is pushing this increase in online shopping? Consumers interviewed in New York revealed their top choices for internet purchases:


Convenience and direct deliveries are a big part of the appeal when buying online, along with flexible shopping hours. “I work long hours, and don’t always get chance to visit the store,” says NYC resident Marti Jackson. “When I get home I can find my favourite stores on my iPad, and browse items at my own pace without spending hours at the mall. They get delivered directly to me and I don’t have any hassle at all”

Cutting costs is another key reason for shopping online. Deals and discounts are extremely widespread, with hundreds of retail outlets shipping designer and high street goods to buyers around the world. Shoppers love a bargain and are always looking for great offers to save them some cash. This has led experts to predict that 1.6bn parcels ordered online will be shipped to UK consumers in 2016. “Around two thirds of all code requests at our site relate to physical products - consumer goods - and this is surely contributing to a rise in overall deliveries,” said’s lead service analyst Mikaela Harper.

The impact of increased online deliveries

Recent figures released by the Department for Transportation show that road deliveries increased by a huge 12% between 2014 and 2015. In the same period, online retail sales grew by 16.2%. International courier firm UPS recently reported a 10% profit growth as a direct result of online consumer purchases. As we buy more goods online, it has the knock on effect of sending more haulage vehicles on to the roads - and increasing pressure on an already growing industry. More road haulage means an increased environmental impact, rising costs for companies - and potentially, an increase in delivery costs. One might reasonably assume that our roads have got busier to compensate for all these increased deliveries.

In part, that is certainly true. Logistics companies report a 9% increase in HGV use over the past eighteen months. However, this leaves a 3% gap that did not previously exist. It seems that as the online retail industry grows, haulage companies are becoming more efficient and can handle deliveries more effectively. This is great news for the environment, for haulage companies - and for consumers as well. Delivery companies who can keep their own costs down can pass these savings on to online shoppers.

The future of online shopping

The benefits of online retail are varied and numerous. While some still prefer physical stores where they can test out products, shopping online keeps picking up fans. Many shoppers turn to the internet to get products they cannot find locally, while others choose this route for convenience and flexibility. Access to a wider range of brands, the chance to pick up deals and voucher codes and easy delivery of heavy or bulky items are all alternative reasons to choose the online route.

It doesn’t seem likely to slow down any time soon. Millennials are the main demographic influencing today’s retail market, and they have shown an overwhelming preference for mobile web services. This is pushing many online retailers into the mobile sales market, selling their products through dedicated mobile apps and shopping hubs. In this age group, price is the biggest influencer for any purchase decision. As online is the best way to compare prices and switch between retailers, it is also the best way to get yourself a great low price. Brands who want to stay ahead of the market need to keep offering cut price deals and ensure they have a great mobile app for their customers to use.

Of course, online shops need to step up their game if they want to keep competing for a decent share of the market. Studies show that 59% of consumers purchase less from a retailer that has a slow loading or hard to navigate website, and 57% will reject e-commerce sites that are not mobile compatible. Keeping up with changing technology is key to harnessing the online sales market and achieving long term success as an internet brand.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

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Friday, May 21, 2010

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