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Social commerce will add pressure to already strained logistics

Perran Jervis, head of retail and consumer goods at TLT, comments on the news that Facebook is launching shopping on WhatsApp and Instagram. 

"The news that Facebook is throwing its hat into the ecommerce ring will provide yet another boost to the continuing growth of online shopping.

"Retailers will no doubt embrace this 'super-omnichannel' environment, but according to our latest research, their logistics networks would currently be unable to cope with this spike in demand. 

"According to the UK's top 100 retailers, rapid delivery is now a key deciding factor for consumers with 83% of retailers planning to offer next day delivery or faster in the future and 29% aiming for same day delivery. Half (46%) of UK retailers say the future of their business now depends on improving fulfilment and logistics. 

"Social media buying is likely to increase the number of smaller purchases people make, increasing pressure on logistics and delivery performance further still. This will also increase the rate of returns – already 27% on average for the UK's top 100 retailers, rising to 58% for some.  

"Retailers will need to fundamentally re-think their logistics functions and embrace new technologies and partnerships, so that they are able to quickly adapt to these rapid changes in how people shop and give customers the experience they're looking for."

To find out how the UK's top 100 retailers are responding to the growth of online shopping and consumer demand for fast, free and flexible delivery, please read our report, Full Speed Ahead or contact Perran. 

This publication is intended for general guidance and represents our understanding of the relevant law and practice as at May 2019. Specific advice should be sought for specific cases. For more information see our terms & conditions.

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