A survey commissioned by CouriersPlease has found that e-commerce was the key driver in maintaining and boosting business in 2021.
Crucially, 84 percent of Australians now shop online and 33 percent prefer to shop online more now than they did pre-pandemic.
The study surveyed 163 online retailers and asked respondents which strategies they focused on before the lockdowns in March last year. There were nine common business priorities, including sales and marketing, expanding stock and online presence.
More than half the respondents worked on driving repeat customers, while 36 percent expanded their product range and 33 percent either focused on customer acquisition or increasing their digital presence.
27 percent worked on differentiating themselves from competitors, and 20 percent grew their e-commerce offerings.
After this, respondents were asked what their focus would be once the economy re-opens, hopefully this year. 52 percent will focus on sales, 28 percent on prioritizing customer acquisition, and 24 percent driving repeat customers.
Marketing, in contrast, is the main focus of just 20 percent of online retailers. Only 2 percent will prioritize improving their returns and exchange processes, and just 1 percent are focusing on opening or expanding their stores.
“While many online retailers experienced an increase in sales during the shutdowns, our survey suggests that sales will remain a priority in 2021. It is important that retailers consider ways to grow sales as the economy recovers and consumer spending increases,” said Paul Roper, Chief Commercial Officer at CouriersPlease.
“Often, the differentiator between retailers is the customer experience – and the last mile component is where brand differentiation really makes a difference.
Offering multiple flexible options such as express deliveries, parcel collection locations that are open after hours, and parcel redirection, help drive customer acquisition and loyalty, because convenience is key throughout the online shopping experience.”
Roper also recommended that retailers ensure they have an e-commerce strategy in place in preparation for any micro-lockdowns that may occur this year.
The full survey results, including breakdowns across organization size and industries, can be found here: couriersplease.com.au/Portals/0/etailerfocus_whitepaper_feb21.pdf
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