[ANALYSIS] In Q4, e-shops are facing a shopping boom

The fourth quarter is a time of increased shopping every year. Consumers look for clothes, shoes and accessories for the upcoming autumn and winter season, prepare for the upcoming Christmas and give them to their loved ones. 

Before this happens, there are two special occasions in November for shopping - Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It is worthwhile to prepare the e-shop for the upcoming shopping boom - optimize order and delivery processes, take care of proper customer service, but also prepare for possible complaints or returns.

 Poles buy online

 According to the Gemius study "E-commerce in Poland 2020", 73% of Internet users do online shopping, and almost 3/4 of them use Polish e-shops. They prefer to buy clothes, shoes, cosmetics and perfumes, books, CDs, films and cinema or theatre tickets. The main motives for online shopping are time saving, access to goods that are not available in stationary stores, lower price, quick delivery to the house or a selected point, and the possibility to place an order at any time. 

E-shops are not banned from trading on Sundays, and the convenience of searching through hundreds of offers at home is even more convincing these days - it is easy to avoid pre-Christmas or sales crowd in shopping malls.

November shopping madness

There will be a lot of shopping opportunities in the near future - the e-commerce market should in particular prepare for the end of November - 27th and 30th are two shopping madness holidays. Black Friday and even more importantly - Cyber Moday, the festival of online shopping. More and more often we also plan holiday spending and gifts for our loved ones in advance. Accumulation of the above can be quite a challenge for the e-shop, so it is important to prepare in advance.

Leverage information for e-commerce

From the customer's point of view, one of the most frustrating situations when shopping online is - after a long, often hours-long research of e-shops' websites - the addition of a dream product to the basket, which is... temporarily unavailable. It is enough to check the state of stock, contact suppliers and subcontractors in advance to ensure the availability of the desired products - those that are most popular and sell best. It is not a big irritation, as there is no clear, simple and complete information about the e-shop offer - you need to take care of a detailed description of the product, attach photos of it, information about the final price, method and expected delivery time.

Deliveries and returns - consumer choice

According to the Postnord report "E-commerce in Europe 2018" Polish consumers, right after the Dutch, value fast delivery the most. 24% of them say that it should not take more than two days. Nearly half of Polish respondents (46%) are ready to pay for delivery within 24 hours. How to improve the delivery process and respond to customer needs? A good solution will be to establish cooperation with courier companies, e.g. by means of shipping platforms, bringing together key carriers. Such companies, which in addition to the possibility of buying brokerage services from them at rates lower than those directly from the carriers (especially in the case of a small number of shipments per month), without the need for a declaration of quantities and a contract, but with a deferred payment date, have in their offer integration with carriers and cooperation on their own contracts (e-shop/courier contract). Thanks to this, they offer the possibility to use all methods and services of carriers, with one integration.

- Cooperation of e-commerce with Sendit.pl - broker of courier services, will allow both optimization of costs and time of order execution, as well as ensure fast and reliable delivery in the model chosen by the buyer. We offer our partners the widest range of deliveries within our product Bliskapaczka.pl, which has increased the range of deliveries up to 33,000 sending/receiving points all over the country - comments Wojciech Kliber, Vice President of the Board of Sendit S.A.

Returns as a competitive advantage

The Polish Internet user is a conscious consumer, therefore he expects an accessible and intuitive service of the online store, a high level of service, security of transactions and his data, a clear complaint and return policy. According to the Gemius report, more than half (52%) of e-shoppers appreciate the possibility of sending back an order free of charge in the form of door-to-door, 45% point to the point of receipt. No wonder that the point-to-door return option is gaining popularity - it is cheaper and allows for flexibility. Working with a trusted courier broker, the e-shop gains not only competitive shipping prices, but also appreciation of customers who can freely choose their preferred delivery and return method.

- Phrases are still a topic to build a competitive advantage if we properly take care of the user experience in this area. Transparent returns policy, which at the same time enables e-shops to collect information about the reasons for returns, is gaining popularity from year to year. The customers of e-shops more and more often decide to return products through the sending-receiving points. Why? The customer does not have to wait for the parcel to be picked up by a courier, but brings it at a convenient moment to the point. This model has another, additional advantage: it reduces the cost of return by the last mile - concludes Kamila Kowalska, Sales Director at Sendit S.A.