ecomTEAM 2021 has ended. Trends and conclusions.

April 30, 2021
Postis was part of the panel about the impact of e-commerce on logistics sector
Trends and conclusions from ecomTEAM 2021
Valerica Motoc

On April 21 and 22, organized ecomTEAM 2021 hybrid event, two intensive days about e-commerce and its evolution during and after COVID-19 pandemics.

The panel about the impact of e-commerce growth on logistics reunited four leaders of the category:

- Adrian Mihai, CEO Fan Courier
- Sînziana Pardhan, Managing Director P3 România
- Mircea Stan, CEO Postis
- Laurențiu Furtună, Director of e-Commerce and Digital Auchan România

In a one hour session, the four discussed about the effects of the new market context and changing purchasing behaviours. Among conclusions:

Pandemics moved sales volumes from traditional sales channels to online

  • Carriers gained a key role in providing first necessity products.
  • Significantly larger delivery volumes followed the initial steep decline, once people in lockdown grew aware that mobility limitations will last for a longer period.
  • New buying behaviors triggered by health safety concerns let to the fast adoption of new processes and interaction mechanics: online payments on a larger scale than ever, contactless deliveries, online ordering for a wider and diversified range of products.
  • The growth of volumes sold online led to a significant increase in logistics and industrial warehousing. Despite an abrupt decline in manufacturing for many categories, 2020 was a record year for logistics and industrial spaces, with more than 900.000 sqm rented for retail storage and more than 500.000 sqm newly built warehouses.
  • The new customer relationship context and online sales accelerated the digitization programs implemented by retailers in their logistics, delivery and customer experience. Categories already present in e-commerce scaled-up with ease, those who were still reluctant such as FMCG, DYI or home & deco adjusted their business models to omni-channel.
  • From retailers' perspective, the range of products which they made available to their customers in online stores increased rapidly, including home care and personal care, food and fresh-food. The specificities of such categories, with a wide diversity in size, weight or perishability, required significant logistics transformations: shorter delivery time, delivery options diversification with specialized solutions, instore personnel trained and reskilled for fulfillment activities.
  • The fast process transformation, the expansion of online sales to new categories required IT systems integrations, and new IT tools needed to be developed. The partnerships with tech suppliers and the use of platforms for delivery aggregation and process automation allowed for a fast adaptation and quick scaling-up, to the level required by market's demand.

The benefits of online, as they were discovered during pandemics, changed behaviors for ever

  • Many office workers will continue to work from home or in a hybrid system, even after pandemics will come to an end.
  • Product categories sold online will continue to grow. From traditional electro-IT and fashion to cars, container homes or gold bars.
  • Digital online journeys will blend with those from physical stores. Mobile apps for online purchases or used to build the shopping basket while browsing the hypermarket's aisles will use the same product catalogue. The customers will be able to get in touch with the picker to change their shopping basket in real time, from a distance.
  • Option diversification and customized delivery journeys will be a must have to any retailer who wants to grow in the new market context. Order pickup from locker networks, click & collect experiences, scheduled deliveries, express deliveries, contactless order pickup in store's parking lot, these are just some of the new options used by customers. Diversification will continue in order to provide competitive advantages through simpler, efficient experiences.
  • The e-commerce growth will impact the entire logistics infrastructure. Starting with the storage spaces, which grew in pandemics from 16% to 19% as a share of e-commerce in total, to internal fulfillment teams, the integration of owned fleet with third party specialized suppliers, the use of integrated digital systems along the entire logistics chain, or process automation.

What's next

  • Delivery will continue to grow when mobility restrictions will be relaxed, with people regaining their optimism and appetite for consumption. In 2021, delivery volumes are expected to grow above the 2020 record.
  • Logistics optimization is just the starting point. Market differentiation and success in online will come from customer centricity: simple, efficient, predictable, personalized experiences.
  • Customers discovered the value of their time and will continue to ask for convenience. From order capture and processing, to the options they have to customize their journey and simple delivery. They will ask to be informed in real time about their delivery status. They will want their opinion to matter, including during delivery.
  • Process performance and quality data will be aggregated with customer satisfaction information. This way, companies will be able to make objective business decisions and will be capable to develop new, relevant services and features.
  • Customers will not buy only products, but time and relaxation.

If you missed the event, you can watch the panel about the impact of e-commerce growth over logistics, below.

And if you want to be prepared for the challenges and opportunities that e-commerce brings to your business, let's talk. We can help.

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