The accelerated pace of online shopping activity shows no signs of subsiding once the crisis is over, with supply chain operations and consumer preferences now permanently altered, according to a white paper from XPO Logistics.
Based on two surveys conducted before the holiday shopping season, the white paper explained how every sign indicated that future consumer demand will support the pace of e-fulfilment, with retailers having to ensure their supply chains are configured to meet that demand.
Findings included that returns of online purchases have become a routine aspect of online shopping and so retailers have turned to 3PLs to manage their returns processing, otherwise known as reverse logistics.
It said anecdotally, consumers are also increasingly opting for in-store or curbside pickup, rather than home delivery and so brick-and-mortar stores will increasingly serve as e-fulfilment centres instead.
The white paper also outlined how current e-commerce trends were at levels that XPO would have expected in 2025.
Malcolm Wilson, XPO Logistics chief executive officer for Europe, said, “The increase in e-commerce is a trend that should play out for a long time to come.
“The pandemic has accelerated e-commerce growth by at least several years, and importantly, we’re seeing a strong secular base to demand.”
XPO said that the retailer statistics were derived from approximately 600 respondents representing companies of various sizes, split between the US and the UK.
The consumer statistics were derived from approximately 4,000 total respondents across the US, the UK, France and Spain.
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