Three trends shaping parcel delivery and e-commerce in 2021

Wednesday, 03 March, 2021

Three trends shaping parcel delivery and e-commerce in 2021

While 2020 was full of disruption and change for businesses and consumers, Pitney Bowes has revealed that some of the trends that emerged during the year could be here to stay. These trends include the boom in e-commerce, growing investment in technologies that enable remote working, and increased use of analytics for deeper, more valuable insights.

E-commerce will continue to rise in popularity as consumers are increasingly shopping online, forcing retailers to adapt their operations and move towards e-tailing environments. Smaller, home-based e-tailing businesses will also experience growth, and will continue to invest in solutions that empower them to meet customer needs.

Since 2013, the Pitney Bowes Parcel Shipping Index has tracked the growth of parcel sending across the world and also in Australia. The latest report found that global parcel volume reached 103 billion parcels in 2019. In Australia, on average more than 2.5 million parcels were sent each day, equating to more than 106,000 parcels per hour, or 1777 per minute and 30 per second.

Ben Seal, Head of Shipping (Australia and New Zealand) at Pitney Bowes, forecast that 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,” said Seal.

KPMG data revealed that during the COVID-19 pandemic, companies increasingly offered more flexibility, options to work remotely, and more frequent communication to help keep employees engaged and collaborating. For many businesses, this meant assessing business-critical processes and identifying how to empower employees to continue to work productively regardless of location.

Seal predicts that the future working environment will involve a hybrid of office-based and remote working, with employees continuing to engage in more flexible working practices. During the pandemic, companies that rely on sending and receiving packages to conduct business needed to implement safe methods of parcel shipping to keep their employees and their company information and assets safe.

“Solutions that simplify sending mail from home and the office will continue to increase in popularity, as organisations invest more in ways to empower their staff to work at the same level of productivity wherever they are,” said Seal.

Following the transition to remote work, organisations have faced the challenge of a lack of visibility into employee behaviour, with flexible and remote working solutions giving employees more autonomy over how they manage workloads and activities. However, this can make it difficult to ascertain whether documents and parcels have been sent to customers or partners as needed, leading to errors like double handling, missing items and unhappy customers.

Cloud-based parcel shipping solutions can help keep track of packages and documents, and provide visibility into volumes, delivery information, shipping spend and more. Seal noted that tools that facilitate access to analytics and reporting based on metrics such as shipping spend and activity will help businesses with forecasting and cost saving.

“Solutions that provide greater insight and visibility into parcel sending for a remote workforce will benefit organisations on a number of levels,” said Seal.

Organisations that invest in solutions that provide greater insight into tracking and delivery, and leverage technologies that use simple dashboards to display information, will be able to alleviate considers over lost and delayed parcels, and see crucial data at a glance, for more informed business decisions.

Image credit: © W. Potter

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