An unprecedented number of online sales this holiday season could provide a considerable logistical challenge according to online transport marketplace Shiply. Making sure that everyone gets their gifts on time will demand a substantial effort on the part of couriers and delivery services.
The week ending December 9 saw a 15% rise on the same period last year with similar increases reported of the first 39 days of the holiday season according to comScore. Sales on “Cyber Monday” and “Black Friday” rose more than 20% compared to 2010.
The coming week tends to be the busiest for online shopping, “Green Monday” coined by eBay often ranks among the top spending days. However new trends such as free shipping days (the last day before Christmas where free delivery can be guaranteed to reach before the 25th) may be challenging for the highest spend.
An unparalleled number of parcels have caused Royal Mail to hire thousands of temporary staff to cope with increased demand over December and potentially January, to deal with the sales. But with the postal service operating at a loss and facing job cuts, online retailers often rely on independent couriers and man and van services to provide affordable delivery, but some delivery companies are already struggling to keep up with demands of four million parcels to be delivered every day.
Robert Matthams, Managing Director of Shiply (www.shiply.com) the online transport marketplace with a network of more than 40,000 transport and removal companies, gives his opinion on the current trends in online shopping and the challenges faced by delivery services.
“Last year’s inclement weather caused a lot of high street closures which led people to turn to online shopping, but because of the snow many deliveries were delayed causing a lot of frustration.
Online shopping is easier and more accessible now and with the growth of mobile transactions and improved security, many people who wouldn’t have shopped online before are now doing so. I doubt we’ll see anything but growth in the future.
November/December is always a busy period for deliveries and I hope that couriers have learned from past experiences that there’s a huge surge in demand at this time of year and made contingencies to cope with it. The government has promised to better cope with any snow this year and have more salt and new gritters to treat roads. So I would say that people can have more confidence in their deliveries or moving goods this year, but I would also advise that customers don’t leave it to the last minute”