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RESEARCH COMMENTARY: What is the state of ecommerce in Poland and the United States?

2020 was a year marked by a series of unprecedented changes, one of them being the acceleration of ecommerce growth. The Covid-19 crisis has resulted in a significant shift towards online retailing, with effects especially pronounced nearer peak seasons. Poland and the United States were no exceptions in this regard as they both witnessed a notable jump in user penetration as well as online sales last year.

In the last issue, we looked into the state of ecommerce in Europe, namely Belgium and the Netherlands. Are Poland and the United States any different from the previous two countries? How have their ecommerce landscapes changed over the course of the Covid-19 crisis?

Parcels in Poland Took an Average Delivery Time of 1.3 Days

Despite the ongoing supply chain disruptions coupled with the large number of Polish consumers shopping online, the impact on Poland’s logistics performance was minimal to say the least. Parcels in Poland took an average transit time of 1.3 days before the first delivery attempt, as compared to 1.8 days and 2.1 days in neighbouring France and Sweden respectively.

96% Of Parcels in Poland Were Successfully Delivered at First Attempt

Towards the end of 2020, the Polish government imposed a nationwide lockdown to fight against the second wave of Covid-19. With the shutdown of many physical stores and safe-distancing measures put in place, citizens had no choice but to spend most of their time in their homes. As such, it would make sense for the majority of parcels to be successfully delivered at the first attempt.

67% Of Parcels Delivered to Collection Points in Poland Were Picked up Within 24 Hours

While out-of-home delivery methods have been gaining traction for years, the pandemic has made them more essential than ever. Collection points, for instance, have become a preferred method of package delivery in Poland due to the ease and accessibility of the service. Given that there were 28,000 unique pick-up-and-drop-off (PUDO) points located all over the country, it is not surprising for Polish consumers to be able to collect their parcels within 24 hours.

So what about the United States, a country that experienced a 44% surge in ecommerce sales last year? Did the state of ecommerce in the world’s largest economy fare any better?

Parcels in the United States Took an Average Delivery Time of 3.2 Days

Unlike its European counterpart Poland, the state of e-commerce in the US appeared to be slightly more affected by the global supply chain woes. This is understandable considering that there was a 49% increase in online sales during the holiday season 2020. Just over the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend alone, US consumers spent more than $9 billion online, one of the highest ever figures to date.

96% Of Parcels in the United States Were Successfully Delivered at First Attempt

Similar to Poland, there was a large spike in COVID-19 cases in the US during the later months of 2020. Even with the 35% jump in e-commerce volumes during the holiday season, 96% of parcels in the US were successfully delivered at first attempt. This is most likely due to the mandatory stay-at-home orders being issued in most states across the country amid the fear of a second COVID-19 wave.

57% Of Parcels Delivered to Collection Points in the United States Were Picked up Within 24 Hours

Despite the high success rates of home deliveries, collection points have gained a greater foothold among US shoppers in 2020. Owing to the huge network of PUDO points available across the country, customers are now finding it even more desirable than the traditional doorstep deliveries. UPS has also teamed up with big retailers such as Michaels and CVS to make collection points even more accessible to everyone. With that being said, only 57% of parcels delivered to collection points in the US were picked up within 24 hours, a slightly lower percentage than in Poland.

2021 and Beyond

It is hard to know what to expect especially given the uncertainties surrounding the present global health crisis. Nevertheless, we are looking forward to seeing how the state of e-commerce in these countries will evolve in 2021 and beyond.

About Parcel Monitor

Parcel Monitor is an InternetRetailing Knowledge Partner and the leading platform for ecommerce logistics insights. By leveraging on our data capabilities, Parcel Monitor creates an open space for the ecosystem to discover, collaborate and innovate.

About the Author

Yamin is a Content Writer at Parcel Monitor and she is passionate about digital storytelling and all things content.

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