Retail and e-commerce – November 2023

05 December 2023

E-commerce and packaging
According to Rabobank (in Dutch), online grocery shopping is increasingly commonplace. Compared to five years ago, almost four times as many Dutch private customers have their groceries delivered to their homes. Of course, the corona-lockdowns have accelerated growth, but customer numbers have continued to grow even after the lockdowns. However, in the last six months, online sales growth lagged behind sales increases in physical shops.
A study by Boston Consulting highlights findings from a global survey aimed at exploring e-commerce trends from the beginning of the pandemic to this year. The survey, conducted in the second quarter of 2023, included respondents from 410 retail and 415 CPG companies around the world. According to the study, e-commerce sales increased 3% in Europe and 7% in both the US and Asia in 2022. With customers shopping online more often, they expect companies to focus on sustainability through those channels too.
According to Manhattan Associates (in Dutch) almost six out of ten Dutch consumers value transparency on environmental impact and like to be informed about the most sustainable shipping option.
Euromonitor has published an article about why investing in e-commerce development in emerging markets matters.
A report published by Ecommerce Europe shows that the CEE region has emerged as a thriving e-commerce hub, exhibiting remarkable growth in recent years. More than one-third of merchants selling online in the CEE region expect up to 20% growth in revenue in 2023 compared to 2022. You can download the report after filling in your details.
CEN-CENELEC has published EN 17837:2023, a new standard that describes how to quantify and report greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions from parcel delivery services.

Sustainable packaging in retail
According to ING (in Dutch), climate transition is not yet taking retail by storm. To achieve the Netherlands' 2030 climate goals of a minimum 55% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, the retail sector also cannot escape reducing CO2 emissions. A survey among the forty largest retail formulas shows that only a third of the retail chains have published concrete climate ambitions. Producing packaging is also seen as CO2 emissions from the retail sector.
The results (in Dutch, 145 kB) of the VIL project Green Last Mile (E-pack) show that if Belgian consumers always would choose the most sustainable delivery option, the sustainability costs would decrease by 21%.
Amcor has delved into the perceptions, considerations, and purchasing habits of grocery shoppers. The aim of the research (19.43 MB) was to understand consumers' view of private label products, and their preferences when it comes to sustainability and packaging.

Reusable packaging systems
A Delft University of Technology study (2.48 MB) entitled; ‘Should the milkman return? The effect of a reusable packaging on product perceptions and behavioural intentions’, has been published in Food Quality and Preference.
On 16 November 2023, Franziska Ehlen held a presentation entitled ‘Exploration of a deposit bottle return system for Henkel's liquid home and personal care products‘ as part of her master assignment at the University of Twente. Chairman of the assessment committee was prof. Roland ten Klooster who holds the NVC Chair Packaging Design and Management.

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