During lockdown a delivery driver making multiple doorstep drop-offs was a common sight and, for many households, a daily occurrence. Because, when you can’t get to the shops, you get the shops to come to you. Not only were those accustomed to shopping online doing more of it, but it gave slow adopters like the over-65s the nudge they needed to join the ecommerce party.
The only way is up
The first half of 2020 saw 5 years of growth in online market share in a matter of weeks and, by the end of the year, the amount spent was up 46.1% on 2019. That’s the largest annual increase since 2008. Wow! And as this march online shows no signs of slowing, those players that have invested in virtual stores and offerings look well-placed to reap even greater rewards.
Books and beyond
Amazon is synonymous with ecommerce. Need an example of a pioneering business doing it well and you’d struggle to find one that comes anywhere close. Its sales, profits (and tax liabilities) have boomed, and its brand is everywhere. Pretty impressive for a 1995 start-up that began life as an online bookstore. Which is ironic because, also thanks to the pandemic, sales of physical books are soaring with more than 200 million in the UK last year for the first time since 2012.
Casualties and opportunities
While few aspire to the reach of Amazon, opportunities still abound.
Take the UK personalised gift market, for example, which is expected to reach £1bn over the next 12 months. In the lead up to Christmas, research by Censuswide found that the average UK shopper was prepared to spend an extra 7% on gifts with an element of personalisation. The most popular personalised gifts including clothing, babywear, calendars and, you’ve guessed it, books!
There have been casualties too, of course. Many of our High Streets are in freefall, cross-border shipments continue to experience post-Brexit delays, and Savills is reporting a shortage of warehousing and storage across Europe as concerns regarding logistics have resulted in stockpiling.
Reward without risk
So many good reasons to grasp ecommerce firmly, with both hands. And, critically, to seek out partnerships with suppliers who know the ropes and that have invested in automation and technology specifically for the purpose. Because personalisation to order, production on-demand and at point-of-need, equals scale at speed; all of the opportunity without any of the risks.
In addition to its 5 UK sites, Prime has manufacturing partners across Europe, in the US, and Australia. That means UK businesses can commission their personalised gift projects here, confident that production and fulfilment will go ahead without a hitch. So, if you’re looking to expand your personalised gift offering, or are already formulating plans for Christmas 2021, please get in touch. We’ll be happy to talk through your ideas and even throw some of our own into the mix.