A new study by Linnworks surveyed retailers about how prepared they are to accommodate new consumer expectations regarding how people like to shop.
- Not surprisngly, the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in 52% of retailers diversifying their sales channels to include online marketplaces.
- While Amazon was the top choice for many retailers (79%), Facebook (45%) and eBay (42%) round out the top 3 preferred new major marketplaces retailers chose. Interestingly, 115% more UK retailers started selling on eBay than those in the US.
- The majority of retailers (83%) repurposed their physical storefronts as eCommerce fulfillment and distribution centers while only 32% turned the converted space back into storefronts.
- In addition to the pandemic, major events also impacted retailers, with 39% saying their supply chain was disrupted in the last 12 months by events like the Suez Canal blockage, winter storms, wildfires, and more.
- 88% of retailers said these events had a negative impact on their customer service and 76% lost revenue because of the disruptions.
- As consumers become more aware of corporate environmental responsibility, less than half (44%) of retailers have implemented sustainable practices and 53% said they did not even have sustainability on their one-to-five-year roadmap.
- While many retailers have adapted relatively well as shoppers rapidly moved to online shopping at the start of the pandemic, there are still many challenges for retailers to overcome in order to keep up the momentum. Among the biggest problems retailers face is the lack of centralization to make their operations more efficient; only 14% said that they manage their new channels through a single platform.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the urgency for retailers to focus on the customer experience as a key part of their brand. This study shows that many companies didn’t have the infrastructure in place to operate in a true multichannel and omnichannel capacity. Only 14 percent of respondents have a single platform for managing fulfillment, inventory, and all sales channels in one place.”Callum Campbell, CEO at Linnworks
The free Linnworks report “The Great eCommerce Acceleration” is available here.
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