UK businesses will be breathing a sigh of relief now an end of lockdown is in sight as COVID vaccines are being rolled out across the country.
The unprecedented pressure the epidemic has put on retailers and the companies that rely on them will ease as Brits return to the high street and resume leisure activities and holidays.
But two-man delivery specialist Panther Logistics believes retailers will face new pressure from the fundamental change in consumer purchasing habits.
A recent eMarketer report stated UK retail e-commerce sales accounted for 30% of total retail sales in 2020, a hike of over 34% on the previous year.
According to e-tail organisation IMRG this is the highest growth seen for 13 years.
Samuel Scott, Head of Sales & Marketing at Panther, said: “Covid has created a retail revolution. Through necessity people have become more at ease with turning to online retailers for large lifestyle items such as fitness equipment, furniture, and beds.
“Through this same necessity consumers have also recognised just how convenient and timely online sales delivery can be. It has become the new normal and is a trend we see continuing to grow.
“There is now a multitude of choice with flexible delivery options, including next day for those urgent distress purchases. Gone are the days when you simply told a customer the day their product will arrive and expect them to wait for hours.
“Panther, like all businesses, has been forced to adapt and has strived to support its customers every step of the way.
“We recognise how important the final mile delivery experience is – a bad delivery can result in a customer moving to another online retailer. Panther and its customers cannot afford to be complacent.”
Research shows delivery has become so important that nearly half of online shoppers look at delivery options before they decide where to buy from.
Samuel added: “As the online market has continued to grow it has become even more competitive. There is greater choice, so service is key. The delivery partner is now a direct extension of the customer’s buying experience with a brand. Simply put, if delivery is bad, the retailer looks bad.”
This new reality is why Panther supports retail partners with premium delivery options like weekend delivery and nominated day delivery options. It can also offer next day delivery if the customer specifies it.
“Panther provides total flexibility in its service, enabling customers to nominate their day of delivery as well as have their goods delivered to their choice of room,” Samuel added.
Panther’s premium two-man delivery offering includes recovery of recyclable goods and disposal, seven day a week collections, warehousing and storage, and guaranteed pre-10am and post-6pm delivery.
With its headquarters at Northampton, Panther covers the UK via a network of nine strategically located regional hubs, employs a workforce of over 400 and offers an end to end e-fulfilment service.