Door to door courier services are likely to be affected by an ongoing sea change in the retail world, which will see multichannel shopping come to the forefront as online and offline merge, according to predictions from Play.com marketing director Adam Stewart.
Writing in a guest editorial in Internet Retailing, Mr Stewart suggested that the prospect of a binary dichotomy between online and offline retailing is unlikely, with a more complicated collaboration between the two sectors a more likely outcome.
He argued that consumers are now using a broad range of devices to access online shopping, using laptops, smartphones and so forth to make purchases while also visiting bricks-and-mortar stores.
"This new approach to shopping has presented retailers with a range of new channels for communicating with customers, ones that have a global reach and if used effectively will help them win business and build brand loyalty," Mr Stewart claimed.
He highlighted the importance of m-commerce in maintaining a link with the consumer, pointing to the increasing prevalence of smartphones as a crucial indicator of the direction online shopping is likely to take.
The immediacy offered by smartphones has "sparked a revolution" in ecommerce, according to the marketing director.
Mr Stewart also pointed to tablets as devices which can provide a platform for online shopping and urged retailers not to ignore their potential as ecommerce channels.
Social media will also play a role in the future with popular websites such as Twitter and Facebook offering a replacement to the social interaction traditionally associated with shopping in a group, the marketing director predicted.
The latest figures from the British Retail Consortium suggest that internet-based sales were boosted by the unseasonably warm weather enjoyed across the UK over the course of March, with sales increasing by 1.3 per cent on a year-on-year basis.
Author: Gillian Walters