How e-commerce can weather stormy highstreet landscape

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In the aftermath of the British Retail Consortium (BRC)'s recent report highlighting a downturn in April’s retail sales due to inclement weather and lacklustre consumer spending, the imperative for retailers to step up their e-commerce game has never been more apparent.

E-commerce stands resilient against the whims of the weather, as underscored by recent research by Linnworks. The research revealed that 51% of consumers favour online marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay for retail shopping.

This trend aligns with the wider retail industry, where significant numbers of consumer searches originate from online marketplaces and social media. Therefore, retailers must be primed to meet customers where they are, especially when traditional bricks and mortar stores are less appealing in the rain.

Ultimately, it's clear we’re seeing online retailers lose out to their traditional high-street counterparts, despite their ability to offer products at a lower cost. And among the big retailers that have gone out of business, we've seen a pattern - a lack of focus on digital growth, and a lack of adaptability.

The changes have also been driven by shifting customer demographics as online is the natural environment for today's 20-30 year olds, who have grown up surrounded by social media and online content. As many of today's generation spend time on the internet, it's only natural that they would turn to it as a source of spending power, which has led to retailers embracing this trend, investing in websites and multichannel marketplaces to make the customer experience as seamless as possible.

To adapt and scale effectively, retailers need to automate every aspect of the e-commerce process, leveraging effective retail technology solutions and software for efficient inventory management and fulfilment. Yet each additional marketplace adds complexity, making effective order processing and inventory management essential. And with customer expectations at an all time high, timing on fulfilment is also critical; delaying investment in technology risks overwhelming the business and jeapordising hard-won success.

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