Online shopping has been steadily on the rise since the early 2000s. Amazon originally sold nothing but books. In 1998, they began offering CDs, followed by electronics, toys, and tools the following year. By 2000, the tech giant had shipped 20 million items to 150 different countries. E-commerce continued to grow in the following decades, but the COVID-19 pandemic inspired an unprecedented surge. Online sales increased by 43% in 2020, rising to $815.4 billion that year.
While the ripple effect of the pandemic has slowed, the e-commerce trend never returned to pre-pandemic levels. Consumers adapted to the convenience of ordering groceries, essentials, gifts, and pretty much everything else online. Permanent changes in consumer spending habits have impacted the US transport industry, and the face of modern business operations as well. Here’s what to expect going forward.
Greater demand for delivered products
We already touched on this, but the impact is higher than you might think. Fewer and fewer people are willing to venture out to brick-and-mortar stores to shop. Malls are turning into ghost towns. The growth of online shopping isn’t slowing anytime soon, with a projected annual growth rate of 11.22% through 2027. The resulting surge in delivery service needs has forced logistics companies to adapt and innovate, offering increasingly efficient options to meet consumer demands.
More reliance on e-commerce marketplaces
If you haven’t made a purchase on Amazon in the last month, you’re in the minority. The rise of e-commerce marketplaces like eBay, Amazon and Walmart have changed how goods are distributed. People are much less likely to visit the website of a small retailer than they are to type “Amazon” into their browser. It’s quick and easy for shoppers to check off multiple items on their list all in one place. Most brands today have shifted their approach, listing their products on massive marketplaces like Amazon instead of relying on marketing their own websites.
E-commerce marketplaces have necessitated a change in how products are transported. Instead of being shipped out by individual companies, products are centralized and consolidated, effectively streamlining the logistics process. While Amazon might feel like a threat to small businesses, it may not be. When leveraged well, e-commerce marketplaces can make it easier for small retailers to gain visibility next to bigger brands with a historically greater reach.
The growth of unconventional delivery options
Ever ordered an item for pickup at a secure storage locker or in-store? These delivery models didn’t exist a decade ago, and they have benefits worth noting. By offering pick-up options in convenient locations, consumers can pick up their orders on their own schedules without needing to be home to accept a delivery. This eliminates the need for multiple delivery attempts, reducing the strain on logistics companies.
E-commerce has inspired elevated expectations for last-mile delivery services
E-commerce, by definition, requires quick, convenient shipping at the push of a button. Shoppers now expect the convenience of getting their orders delivered in just a day or two, rather than the week or two that was standard practice in decades past.
Last-mile delivery service providers are the ones who’ve risen to the challenge, BYX included. Last-mile services describe the final step of a package’s journey, from a warehouse or distribution center straight to a customer’s doorstep. Since this is the stage of the journey that makes the greatest impression on the customer, ensuring it’s done in a timely manner is an excellent way to foster customer loyalty. BYX strives to stay on top of the latest trends in e-commerce to make sure our customers (and yours!) receive the best possible experience.