Of all the products purchased in the UK about 13% are ordered online. This figure is expected to triple in less than 10 years. Online retailers have had to come to terms with the fact that around 33% of online purchases will be returned to them. If online sales triple then so will the number of returns which will present huge logistical problems for online retailers. You can therefore expect to see the following 4 trends in ecommerce:
Growth of Click and Collect
The popularity of "click and collect" is predicted to grow. Savvy online clothing retailers are pushing click and collect. They are doing this for three reasons. 1. Switched on clothing retailers position their click and collect counters next to fitting rooms. If a customer doesn't like the item or it doesn't fit then they can return it to the counter at a fraction of the cost to the retailer than if the customer had received the goods at their home. 2. Click and collect brings customers back into shops where they can be tempted into buying. John Lewis have extended their click and collect service to all Waitrose stores for this reason. 3. Click and collect practically eliminates costly failed deliveries.
Click and collect collaboration
Knowing that click and collect customers will spend in your store is a big turn on for retailers. Over the coming years major retailers are likely to collaborate with each other on click and collect. This means that you could order online from one retailer but specify that you want to collect it from a different retailer.
Car boot delivery
A pilot scheme is taking place in Germany where Amazon is delivering parcels directly to customers' cars. Failed deliveries cost online retailers dearly and this scheme could make them a thing of the past. Customers give the approximate location of their car when ordering goods. The delivery driver is given temporary keyless access to open the boot of the car only. This temporary access ends when the boot is shut. Amazon is also working on allowing customers to return goods via the boots of their cars.
Delivery to your smartphone
This idea is not as crazy as it may sound. Your smartphone can let people know exactly where you are. A successful delivery straight to you that is guided by your smartphone may involve more effort but is less costly than a failed delivery.
Online retailers are working on reducing delivery times. It might come at a premium but expect to see 12 hour instead of 24 hour delivery times and, if you live in a major city, a 1 hour delivery time. The next few years promise to be interesting and innovative times for online retailers.