Barclaycard research shows changing retail environment

Research from Barclaycard into the retail industry has shown a number of ways in which the retail environment and customer demands are changing. As high street presences are diminishing in importance and profitability, the focus is more toward online presence for companies. The paper, called The Doorstep Economy analysed trends at present in ecommerce with a view to assessing the future of the market.

Customers are helping the environment in ecommerce change, with demand led services altering the way people shop. The Barclaycard commentary about the research suggested, “A third of businesses (32%) also report that customers expect orders to be delivered, or appointments to be available (33%), more quickly than this time last year. In response, more than a quarter of service providers (26%) have started to provide a broader range of appointments (e.g. at weekends, early morning and in the evening).”

The paper looked at retailers as well as customers. Barclaycard said in a statement, “The growth in online shopping means that a third of retailers (32%) think it is now more important to offer an online and delivery service than it is to have a physical store and one in six (17 %) has even opted to become an online-only retailer in the last 12 months.”

Meanwhile customers’ views on ecommerce is also changing. Where next day delivery used to be the benchmark of a good delivery service for example, same day delivery is becoming the new high mark that retailers must meet.

In other areas, Barclaycard said, “Over a third (35%) choose a provider based on its delivery options and one in six consumers (17%) want to receive goods or services instantly after having ordered them. More than one in three of us (37%) would even be happy to receive our deliveries by robot in the name of convenience.”

The research concluded that for delivery businesses, “Delivery services are going through a period of rapid innovation, from those who promise to provide almost anything to your door in under an hour, to those who are set to trial delivery by drone in the near future.”