E-commerce set to drive Christmas peak

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E-commerce sales could be 169% higher than shopping in store during the Christmas peak, a survey by one artificial intelligence supplier has found.

According to research by 7bridges, conducted by YouGov, 90% of shoppers believed that the availability of free delivery will influence their choice of retailer, while 80% of consumers said that a simple and satisfactory returns service was influential in their choice.

The survey also found that 30% of retailers said they would be able to adapt quickly if their primary warehouse was forced to shut down, while 22% would not be able to operate at all.

Looking at the impact of lockdown, 29% of those surveyed were unable to fulfil orders during the first wave of the pandemic. It also found that large businesses fared worse, with 40% reporting being unable to meet client demands, while 50% of retail businesses ran out of stock items and 25% were unable to fulfil sales because of logistics carrier failures.

Phil Ashton, chief executive of 7bridges, said: “Our research shows the many ways that retail businesses suffered during the early months of the pandemic, in particular, due to the vulnerabilities in their logistics. It also demonstrates how incredibly valuable online shoppers will be during 2020’s ‘golden quarter’, and the high levels or service that these consumers are seeking.

“Retailers need to mitigate supply chain risks and swiftly adapt to the demands of their target consumers in order to compete with the dominant players in the e-commerce space.”

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