3 major e-commerce trends and how e-tailers can capitalise on them

17 February, 2021


The onset of COVID-19 and its dramatic impact on the world has accelerated and emphasised many existing trends and developments, particularly in the e-commerce market.

By driving traffic to online stores, and in particular encouraging reluctant shoppers to buy online, the e-commerce industry’s steady growth has exploded as a result of national lockdowns and retailers have risen to meet record order numbers. As a result, consumer expectations have skyrocketed and, having watched pollution levels fall as cars vanished from the roads, more and more people are considering the environmental impact of modern life.

These trends are here to stay; from the ongoing e-commerce boom to sustainability, it’s essential that online retailers can make the most of the opportunities available to them and ensure your business isn’t left behind. 

Boom and... boom

With huge developments in m-commerce and delivery options, the speed and convenience of online shopping has pushed e-commerce into the mainstream. In 2019, global e-commerce sales grew by 18%, to $3.5tn USD and that number is expected to double by 2023. 

Ever-increasing numbers of internet users and a growing “global middle class” ready to spend online will continue to drive the e-commerce boom long-term. As of July 2020, 4.57 billion people were active internet users, totalling 59% of the global population; in just three years, it’s predicted that number will rise to 5.3 billion, or two-thirds of the populace. 

Perhaps more importantly, the fast-growing internet population has greater disposable income than ever before, with studies suggesting more than half of the world is now middle-class or wealthier. Combined with widespread internet penetration, e-commerce looks set to enjoy the benefits of a generation that not only has money to spend, but is also more confident buying online than its predecessors.

Great expectations

Greater numbers of online shoppers has resulted in fierce competition amongst e-retailers. As e-commerce giants have utilised both technology and massive man power to make delivery faster and cheaper, consumer expectations have risen accordingly. 

The pressure is on for retailers to provide a fast, convenient delivery service at a great price. Two-thirds of consumers say they will abandon items in their basket if, for example, delivery costs or shipping times aren’t to their standard (Shopify), and the two most important factors for online shoppers when choosing a retailer are free shipping followed by the cost of returns.

Having grown accustomed to tracking their parcels, choosing delivery points and hassle-free returns, online shoppers expect a level of service from all online retailers. And speed isn’t always the key; for many shoppers, simply being transparent about delivery times and costs enables them to make an informed decision that suits their needs.

Sustainability as standard

 Sustainability has gone from being a buzzword to an expectation as environmental concerns are increasingly important to consumers; with more money to spend, many shoppers want to be sure they are investing their money ethically.

With fierce competition amongst e-tailers, businesses can really stand out with strong sustainability credentials. 77% of online shoppers care deeply about the environment when thinking about how they receive their deliveries, whilst 56% of the 18-24 age group would be swayed to buy from another company that offer a more sustainable fulfilment option (Doddle).

For forward-thinking e-commerce businesses, the time to start assessing and improving their sustainability is now. From transport and freight methods to packaging materials and business waste, green fulfilment and delivery solutions will be essential to e-commerce success.

e-PAQ – sustainability in e-commerce

Sustainability is no longer a niche market. Increasingly, shoppers will scrutinise retailers based on their green credentials before making a purchase. Research by Doddle shows that 77% of online shoppers care deeply about the environment when thinking about how they receive their deliveries and 56% of consumers aged 18 to 24 would be persuaded to buy from a competitor who offered a more sustainable fulfilment option.

With e-PAQ, Asendia has been able to align its delivery solutions with its sustainability policy. Parcels to France and Switzerland are 100% Carbon Neutral when added directly into the La Poste or Swiss Post networks. Furthermore, all Asendia transport emissions on parcels within Europe, and from Europe to other continents, are now being offset. Asendia has set a high bar on sustainability and is committed to doing more as time goes on.

E-tailers who want to fulfil their customers’ desire for sustainable delivery, or those who simply want to reduce their carbon footprint, need look no further than e-PAQ.

e-PAQ: The ultimate e-commerce delivery solution

As e-commerce continues to grow, there’s a lot for online retailers to consider if they aim to capitalise on the ongoing boom. When it comes to meeting customer expectations, a reliable partner can often take care of delivery and transport as well as offering expert advice to help you grow your business.

Asendia is a global delivery service that partners with local couriers to offer an end-to-end logistics solution for e-commerce retailers. From packing and posting to last-mile delivery, Asendia’s wide range of services work for your business and our new e-PAQ solution makes it even easier to choose the solution you need, including:

  • Customs and duty management optimised for easy international shipping
  • Trusted Asendia partners deliver to over 200 destinations worldwide
  • Tracking and notifications to keep consumers updated about parcel progress
  • A simple returns process for you and your customers
  • Sustainability goals of carbon neutral deliveries and offsetting our transport emissions

To find out more about e-PAQ and see how Asendia can support your business both now and in the future, contact one of our expert advisors today.


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