Delighted to kick off the year with a guest post by Localz friend and retail expert, Jonathan Reeve, giving his thoughts on what Retailers can expect in 2018.
News in 2017 was dominated by Amazon, as it started to make a serious dent in the fortunes of other European and US retailers. What can we expect to see in the last mile in 2018?
Jim Collins, in his book “Good to Great”, uses the analogy of a massive flywheel to illustrate the nature of business growth. The flywheel is so heavy that it takes huge effort to push at the start, but gradually its speed accelerates as it starts to turn under its own momentum.
My main prediction for 2018 is that the flywheel of last mile delivery will pick up pace. The combined impact of innovations turns online shopping into a truly mainstream option. I expect to see growth in online sales increase to over 20% a year in many countries, leading it to double every three to four years.
Amazon’s increasing dominance of the last mile will lead other players to respond radically. Walmart has already made several niche acquisitions and we will see many more collaborations and mergers. The players will be different in every country. Grocery retailers are well-placed to lead, especially those with their own last mile delivery capability who now have a tremendous strategic asset that other retailers can leverage.
Around the world we’re seeing a big push in innovation to reduce or eliminate missed deliveries. New infrastructure is emerging in last mile, lockers and digital locks combined with smart technology that enable access to unattended homes.
Missed deliveries are still one of the biggest barriers to online shopping for consumers. Retailers and logistics companies are waking up to this hidden cost.
Demand will be for deliveries to be scheduled at the most convenient time for individuals. We will see further growth in consumer expectation. The 'Individual Economy' or 'Iconomy' is driven by customers knowing what they want, where and when they want it.
Jonathan Reeve helps retailers master the art of e-commerce fulfilment. For the past fifteen years he has helped businesses across three continents improve their e-commerce and store operations. Based in Melbourne, Jonathan has recently published a book, Retail’s Last Mile, that explores the disruption of store retail by online shopping.
You can find out more about Jonathan’s services at his website.