Retail and e-commerce - October 2018

31 October 2018

E-shopper habits and markets developments
A new study by packaging supplier DS Smith (in Dutch) gives interesting information about the preferences of Dutch and Belgian e-shoppers regarding the web shop they are visiting and the packaging related to these as well. You can download the report (in Dutch) after filling in your details. The dominant position of Amazon in web searches in the USA can be found in a study by Wunderman Commerce. More than 50% of the web searches to buy something, start at the Amazon site. If you are interested in their report, fill in your details and it will be sent to you by e-mail.
In 2017, 57% of the EU population purchased goods or services online. In the Netherlands, 79% percent of people aged 16 to 74 were shopping online that year, putting the Netherlands in the EU top 5. These results were published by Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

Trends in transport testing and sustainability in e-commerce
The NVC international working group Web Retail Packaging held its fifth annual meeting in Rotterdam on Friday 21 September. Topics debated were the existing and possibly new testing standards for transport packaging in e-commerce and a pilot of the NVC Web Retail Packaging Sustainability Insights Survey. Contact NVC to receive the final presentation of the meeting.
In e-commerce, shipping empty space clearly is an issue, as 60% of executives surveyed in a study by Forbes Insights and DS Smith believe that more than a quarter of what they send out in e-com packaging is emptiness. DS Smith research across seven product categories reveals that on average, empty space ranges from 18% for clothing and footwear to 64% for glassware. Download the report after filling in your details here.
A sustainability and LCA study by the Empa Technology & Society Laboratory in Switzerland shows that going to a nearby city for shopping is not necessarily worse than online purchasing. When a person uses their own car, travel from home to the city and back is responsible for a sizeable amount of the potential impacts. However, the potential impacts of travel are heavily influenced by the means of transport (i.e., use of public transport rather than personal car) and the frequency of shopping excursions over the year. An article (1.71 MB) about the research is published in Sustainability.

Parcels up, letters down
The Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) reports that more parcels (+9% turnover) and fewer letters and cards (-6% turnover) were sent in The Netherlands in 2017 compared with 2016. Taken together however, the market did grow: over EUR 3.2 billion was made from the delivery of parcels and letter-size mail. You can download the report here (in Dutch, 772 kB).

Also SMEs in e-commerce
The Händlerbund (in German) from Leipzig issued a report addressing the way that retailers are using shipping companies to transport the bought goods to their customers. The study looked at larger retailers (of which 56% fully online and 44% multichannel) but also included medium-sized and small enterprises in retail. You can download the report here (in German, 1.36 MB).

NVC members receive this information with all the relevant links in the monthly NVC Members-only Update. If you have any questions, please contact us:, +31-(0)182-512411.