In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter, we’re reporting as retail moved further online during a locked down January. ONS figures out today suggest that 35% of retail sales took place online during a month of fast ecommerce growth – especially for grocers, who saw online take its highest ever share of their business. That said, overall UK retail sales across all channels fell by more than 8% compared to the previous month, and more than 3% compared to the same time last year. Nonetheless, this is still ahead of the fall seen in the first lockdown – and the ONS report suggests that’s because retailers have upped their online service in the meantime.
That digital shift is reflected in today’s newsletter as Asda says it’s seen a 76% growth in online grocery sales over Christmas following a 90% expansion of its delivery capacity. That sounds that startling growth, but it’s lagging behind the 143.5% growth that the ONS report says food sales enjoyed in January alone. It’s also reflected in the Valentine’s Day growth in online demand that both Yodel and Moonpig enjoyed last weekend.
These stories illustrate the way that customer demand has changed over the last year – and how retailers have responded to that changing demand. We give an overview of a year of change in our feature from the latest RetailX Top500 research, on how Covid-19 has redefined retail. Today we bring that up to date with a look at some of the latest research to find out how shopper expectations are changing.
Part of the change in expectations is the continued demand that retailers improve their sustainability and we report today on how John Lewis, Aldi, Asda and Sainsbury’s are all working to meet tough environmental targets. At the same time, eBay says it’s seeing strong customer demand for recycled and refurbished furniture.
In today’s guest comment, James Hyde of James and James Fulfilment looks at how both traditional and online retailers are outsourcing fulfilment in order to serve their customers.