Retail and e-commerce - February 2022

28 February 2022

Developments in retail
According to an article by NRF, retailers expect more than $761 billion in merchandise sold last year to be returned by consumers. This accounts for an average of 16.6% of total US retail sales, which soared to $4.583 trillion in 2021.
A recent report (in Dutch, 483 kB) by ABN AMRO (in Dutch) forecasts a volume growth of 1% in 2022 for the Dutch retail sector. Reasons for the moderate growth are rising prices and a shift in consumer preference from retail products to services such as hospitality and travel once all Corona restrictive measures are lifted.

Fevad has published e-commerce growth figures of the French market for 2021. The e-commerce sector (products and services) exceeded €129 billion in 2021, an increase of 15.1% compared to 8.5% in 2020. Also sales made on behalf of third parties continue to grow (+5% in 2021).
L.E.K. Consulting has published an article about the future of e-commerce in food & beverage. E-commerce activity has seen an unprecedented increase, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, as lockdowns and other restrictions forced consumers to purchase more products online than ever before.
ISM (in Dutch) has published a trend report that shows 19 trends on how e-commerce and digital marketing are changing. You can download the report after filling in your details (in Dutch).
In a letter (in Dutch) the State Secretary of IenW (Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management) informs the Dutch House about the results of two studies on the adverse effects of online buying and selling behaviour. One concerns a market study (in Dutch, 611 kB) on the return challenge in e-commerce. The other is a report (in Dutch, 2 MB) on the behavioural effects of interventions to reduce undesirable effects of online shopping.
PreScouter has published a report highlighting innovative packaging solutions developed specifically for e-commerce. The report discusses the importance of packaging innovations that can enhance supply chain issues, branding and sustainability goals. You can download the report after filling in your details.

Shift to e-commerce for B2B buyers
According to McKinsey the pandemic has converted B2B buyers to e-commerce in a big way. B2B sellers need new capabilities to meet their new expectations. The report gives a number of examples. One B2B packaging company approached a top manufacturing customer with a proposal to create a fully integrated packaging offering. Instead of simply selling the customer corrugated boxes, plastic wrap and labels as usual, they hashed out a customised solution with the company, creating prototypes tailored to its top product line.

Packaging waste
According to a report (in Dutch, 4.1 MB) by Recycle Netwerk Benelux (in Dutch), 98 million kilos of plastic, cardboard and paper pass through the front door each year. Through parcels, 87 million kilos of shipping materials are delivered to the Dutch front door. 11 million kilos of paper and plastic arrive through the letterbox by ordinary post.

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