Retail and e-commerce - October 2019

01 November 2019

Developments in e-commerce in numbers
According to the Pitney Bowes Parcel Shipping Index, the global parcel volume reached 87 billion in 2018, up from 74bn parcels in 2017 and the highest since the Index began. This is illustrated in an infographic (79 kB). Despite unprecedented global trade uncertainty, the report forecasts this figure will more than double within the next six years and reach 200 billion parcels by 2025 with a 13.7% CAGR for 2019-2023. Click here for more information.
More e-commerce market details are given in the Ecommerce Report: Global 2019 by the Ecommerce Foundation. Specific regions have also been explored, and reports from 2019 of the following regions have been published; USA, Poland, Denmark, Brazil and Latin America. You can download the light versions of all the reports after registering.
ShoppingTomorrow (in Dutch) reports the publication of the first B2B E-commerce Market Monitor (in Dutch, 744 kB), commissioned by and PostNL. The monitor finds that almost 40% of businesses in the Netherlands order online. For 40%, saving time is the most important reason to order online.

E-commerce packaging and consumer behaviour
According to a Smithers presentation, omni-channel and Amazon-style deliveries are changing the way in which packaging is viewed by both retailers and customers. Social media has given rise to customers publicly sharing their thoughts on the packaging they receive, increasing the value of well-considered packs and brands in general. You can download the presentation after filling in your details.
A Shanghai University of Engineering Science article (632 kB) studies the development trend of packaging design with Internet thinking from the perspective of strategic marketing and new design paradigm, and considers the influence of Internet design context on packaging design.
A new report (2.33 MB) by BluJay Solutions finds customer experience overtakes cost as top supply chain differentiator and innovation driver. A Deloitte (in Dutch) report also looks at consumer behaviour in the retail branch, including a comparison between online and physical retail. You can download the report (in Dutch) after filling in your details.

UPS Flight Forward attains full approval for drone airline
UPS Flight Forward has announced that it has received the US government’s full Part 135 Standard certification to operate a drone airline. The certification enables UPS to integrate drones into the UPS logistics network, creating potential for new applications in many industries.

Sustainability of retail packaging
Research for a Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology thesis (2.48 MB) was conducted for a Finnish ready-made meals company wanting to improve their sustainability by changing their packaging materials into more sustainable ones. The best tray in this study turned out to be the aluminium tray and the best film was a PP mono-material film.
A Maastricht University thesis (2.45 MB) investigates how the concept of zero-packaging grocery stores can penetrate the mainstream.
According a LocalCircles survey, consumers are willing to return empty ecommerce boxes and plastic packaging for a small incentive to reduce waste generation.
Shoppercentric also focussed on the connection between shoppers and sustainability. You can read the report online.

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.