IMRG e-Retail International Logistics Guide 2011
International Logistics Guide:
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The UK is arguably the most advanced and sophisticated e-retail market in the world, with individual shoppers spending an average in excess of €1,300 each and with IMRG estimating that total online sales in the UK will reach over €80bn in 2011.
Within the UK e-retailers and their logistics partners are constantly improving the delivery service provided to customers, recognising that meeting their online shopping expectations is now about more than choice, price and availability of products – it is also about service and the overall experience.
As the UK market matures, many e-retailers are looking to other geographic markets to sustain the growth rates they have enjoyed over the past 10 year and recognise that this season’s UK stock could be next season’s in another country. Even without actively marketing overseas UK e-retailers are finding that international consumers are seeking them out, and there is a wealth of data telling us that consumers are prepared to shop ‘cross-border’ if they can find a wider range of products at better prices. It is forecast that globally, the number of internet users will increase from 2 billion in 2010 to 5 billion by 20201 and as a consequence, the international e-retail market will also witness huge growth.
We believe that with its highly developed e-retail sector, the UK is an obvious destination for these shoppers. However, there is also much evidence to suggest that we do not help overseas consumers when it comes to providing the best delivery services and the information they need to make informed choices. Research published by Snow Valley2 confirms that UK e-retailers’ ‘crossborder’ delivery proposition falls well behind that offered to UK shoppers with, for example, only 6% of UK e-retailers offering free delivery and with 90% of international shoppers expected to return goods by post at their own expense.
The lack of logistics support offered to international consumers creates a barrier when it comes to maximising the potential of cross-border trading for UK e-retailers and Docdata and IMRG believe that there now exists a need for a practical and objective guide to help e-retailers understand the potential of these new markets, the needs of their consumers and the logistics solutions that can be employed to serve them.
The IMRG Docdata e-Retail International Logistics Guide (which partners IMRGs B2C Global e-Commerce Overview 2011 focussing on trends, data and forecasts concerning global B2C ecommerce) is not intended to answer every question relating to cross border e-retailing, but to provide the key data and insight for potential global e-retail markets, a firm foundation for further
investigation and guidance on the logistics options. It will ultimately comprise three sections:
- Country Profiles - The key data with insight and general analysis
- Best Practice - Advice and guidance on logistics solutions available for each market
- Case Studies - Examples of solutions in action
This version covers the first stage upon which the subsequent stages will build and we hope that you find the guide a useful aid to your strategic thinking and operational planning.
International Logistics Supplement
The purpose of the IMRG – Docdata International Logistics Guide is to describe the opportunities for entering current and potential cross-border markets and the physical logistics methods available for accessing them from the UK. This supplement to the Guide examines and describes these solutions in more detail. We have looked at a range of solutions available to UK e-retailers, indicating the countries they serve and, although we do not claim to cover every solution available, we believe that we have provided information on the key ones and addressed all of the different options available for those.
We also note the importance of reverse logistics in handling returns which are an increasingly important aspect of cross-border e-retailing, as:
• From the consumer’s perspective an easy-to-understand, convenient returns solution creates confidence and encourages sales; and
• From the e-retailer’s perspective an efficient returns process helps with inventory management, reduces stock wastage and supports good customer service.
This supplement is an invaluable guide to any retailer looking to expand cross-border, outlining details of the solutions available to enable retailers to make the most appropriate and cost-effective fulfilment choice to suit their business requirements.