Last week, Mircea Axente-Stan, the founder of Postis, was invited by Andrei Radu to this season's first #GPeCLive episode. We talked about trends in eCommerce, growth forecasts and reasons to be... optimistic.
If you weren't able to attend the webinar, we've collected five surprising ideas about what the click-to-door experience looks like, how it helps you, and how it can be improved.
The eCommerce market has grown overall, but without any significant boom. We will end the year with an increase closer to 10%, rather than 20%. But we can't talk about "good" or "bad" figures in general. Analyzing by verticals - some brands have increased their average shopping basket, while others have struggled to maintain the average purchase value from previous years.
In this context, the battle for customer base growth is getting tougher. How you bring them to the site, how you make them buy, what the general experience is: from the ads on Google, to the product delivered at home. If the stores offer a pleasant, smooth experience, then the number of customers in their portfolio increases. We will see a polarization between stores that will perform better, with loyal customers, and those who will fight in clicks for transactional customers.
We are aware that, for the next two years, the growth rates will be stuck within the 15-20% bracket. On the other hand, it is important to make the following separation: even if this is the general trend, this does not exclude bursts in certain sectors. FMCG, Pharma, Home & Deco, are all areas with great growth potential. There will probably be categories with decreasing sales, some players will be wiped away entirely, at the same time with some big international brands being launched in Romania in the next year and a half.
Things have changed for some time now: the customer experience does not end on the site, but after the customers receive their orders. Click-to-door changes the entire logistics experience, the mind set through which e-shops drive and retain customers. From purchase click to order delivery and product unboxing, every touchpoint becomes essential and increases the stakes of wholistic processes. Merchants need to reconsider their entire sales journey. Many of them believe that their customer experience begins when the customer lands in their e-shop and ends with the click to order. With an ever increasing competition, the focus has shifted to digital sources that bring customers to the site, but just a few are looking at what happens after a successful conversion.
People no longer want to be called by the courier unexpectedly, without knowing their payment options or when their order is delivered. Clarity, control and predictability are needed. It's not impossible: the retailers we work with have the opportunity to track their orders in real time. And they can offer the same to their customers. We are talking about detailed information - where the product comes from, if it's a cash on delivery payment, what are the customers preferences, mass-customized. And all gets to customers in real time, with SMS or e-mail notifications. All these are levers in the hands of e-tailers to actively optimize their rejection and return rates.
Usually, refusal and return rates are part of an opaque logistics area that is difficult to track and control. But the stakes change when we look at the costs. For a bad customer experience, a store can have rejection rates of 10-15%, at an average cost of 10 to 15 euros for each rejected order.
But there are good news: returns can be optimized. A business can lower return and refusal rates to 1-3%, if they do things the right way. For Postis customers, with optimizations empowered by our advanced AI algorithms, rejection rates are between 2-3%. More, optimization brings predictability, which becomes even more important for product categories with special transport needs: controlled temperature, limited time for transit. Such products are expected to be further regulated by national authorities in the next period, that's why we constantly develop our delivery platform and optimization tools and bring new, diverse transport solutions to our partnering network.
We talked before about the Postis Effect, with tangible results in just one month after implementation. Such great results are not achievable just by big retailers. Our partners come from very different areas: we help big brands, with international expansion plans and complex logistics eco-systems, but also with small and medium businesses that need efficiency and improved productivity.
We serve customers with just 100 orders per month, but also large networks with tens of warehouses, hundreds of physical stores, and products sold via their e-shops and marketplaces in Romania or abroad. We are here for any retailer that needs to turn delivery excellency into customer loyalty and business growth. Constantly, we try to simplify our clients' processes and their customers' lives, by offering plug and play solutions and ready made integrations, easy to deploy by e-tailers that do not have the know-how or the teams of programmers at their disposal.
Talking about the Black Friday offers, we observe two clear trends: the period of dedicated offers is extended, we are not talking just about a single hardsell weekend. And two: the growth rates continue to drop and retailers no longer see sales spikes of 30-40%, as observed in the previous years.
Especially in busy times, it is essential that online stores offer a flawless experience after placing the order. Click-to-door holistic approach is about maximizing every loyalty generating opportunity, about a healthy long-term commitment that will bring in the long-run much more than flash-sales and volumes.
In busy times, the digital solutions for process automation become extremely useful. With streamlined and automated operations, brands can focus on their core business, while allowing logistics and IT specialists to optimize their business. This way, retailers can gain control and visibility over their entire journey from-click-to-door - from a Google Ad, to home delivery or even to cash collection or order return. Only then, retailers will be able to make educated decisions based on data, not instinct.
Although we are moving slower than the rest of Europe, the pessimistic scenario is fading away; it is time to bravely embrace optimism. 2021 brought demanding customers: increasingly expensive to drive to the site and difficult to loyalize. In eCommerce, the battle will become even more fierce, and a way to differentiate will be the integrated customer experience, from click-to-door.
To better understand this phenomenon, in the last four months we have been working on a report that analyzes everything that happens in the click-to-door process. We analyzed the behavior and dynamics of 15-20 million clicks and saw some surprising results, regarding the click sources and their real conversion - not in site visits, but in invoices - processed orders that bring money in retailers' accounts.
And if you like it, stay close: we will soon publish on our website the exclusive report on how clicks get converted in real orders, produced in association with InsightOut Analytics.