Future trends for parcel sending and e-commerce
Article by Pitney Bowes head of shipping for A/NZ Ben Seal.
While 2020 was a year full of disruption and change for businesses and consumers alike, some of the trends that have been emerging will be here to stay.
The upward trend in e-commerce will continue as consumers increasingly shop online, forcing retailers to adapt their operations and move towards e-tailing environments. Smaller, home-based e-tailing businesses are experiencing significant growth, and will continue to invest in solutions that empower them to meet customer needs.
Since 2013, the Pitney Bowes Parcel Shipping Index has been tracking the growth of parcel sending across the globe and also in Australia. The latest report found that global parcel volume surpassed 100 billion packages in 2019, reaching 103 billion parcels total. On average, in Australia, more than 2.5 million parcels were sent each day; that’s more than 106 thousand parcels per hour, 1,777 per minute, or 30 per second.
Parcel shipping solutions will continue to adapt to meet changing customer needs. One significant trend that’s emerging is the growth in technologies that let users compare different carrier options, as well as pricing information and delivery times. Solutions that offer order management features, greater flexibility, and more visibility can help with cost management and optimising the customer experience.
Companies increasingly offered more flexibility, options to work remotely, and more frequent communication to help keep employees engaged and collaborating throughout the COVID-19 pandemic response.
For many organisations, this meant assessing business-critical processes and identifying how to empower employees to continue to work productively regardless of location. Companies that rely on sending and receiving packages to conduct business need to implement safe and secure parcel shipping methods to keep both their employees and their company information and assets safe.
The future working environment is likely to involve a hybrid of office-based and remote working, and employees will continue to engage in more flexible working practices. Solutions that simplify sending mail from home and the office will continue to increase in popularity as organisations invest more in empowering their staff to work at the same level of productivity wherever they are.
Organisations have faced a lack of visibility into employee behaviour since the transition to remote working in early 2020. Flexible and remote working solutions give employees greater control and autonomy over how they manage workloads and activities. At the same time, it can be challenging to know whether documents and parcels have been sent to customers or partners as needed. This can lead to errors like double handling, missing items, and unhappy customers.
Cloud-based parcel shipping solutions can help keep track of packages and documents sent, and provide visibility into volumes, delivery information, shipping spend, and more.
Solutions that provide greater insight and visibility into parcel sending for a remote workforce will benefit organisations on a number of levels. Tools that facilitate access to analytics and reporting based on metrics such as shipping spend and activity will help businesses with forecasting and cost savings.
Organisations that invest in solutions that provide greater insight into tracking and delivery will also be able to alleviate concerns over lost and delayed parcels. By leveraging technologies that use simple dashboards to display information, managers will be able to see crucial data at a glance to drive better, more informed business decisions.