Written by LORENZO MAGGIONI
More and more businesses, small or large, are present online with their own eCommerce sales channel. In Italy, according to the latest survey by the B2C eCommerce Observatory of the Milan Polytechnic, in 2022 the online penetration of total retail purchases exceeded 11% and online product purchases are showing growth of around +10 % compared to 2021. Faced with this scenario, it is increasingly clear that, even for small companies, being present online with their own eCommerce channel is no longer just a choice, but a real necessity. In this context, even neighbourhood shops are adapting to the new and ever-growing needs of consumers.
With the growth of eCommerce, however, the number of vehicles destined for last-mile deliveries also increases, i.e. deliveries made directly to the end user. Considering that global buyers have now exceeded 3.78 billion, it is easy to imagine how home delivery is generating a huge impact on the environment. In fact, it is estimated that the urban logistics sector generates from 300 to 400 journeys of goods vehicles for every 1000 people per day and from 30 to 50 tons of goods for every person per year. Today the responsibility of Logistics in terms of air pollution in urban areas is between 20 and 30%. Last-mile delivery vehicles account for almost a third of total city traffic. Vehicles that often travel half-empty and that on average return to the warehouse with 13% of the goods not delivered. Therefore, for each delivery that is not finalized, the journey will double, as will the CO2 emissions. In other words, the last mile is the stretch that has the greatest impact on the environment with respect to the entire logistics process.
Fortunately, more sustainable solutions are not lacking. Lockers and Collection Points represent a green – as well as practical and flexible – an alternative of great value. In addition to guaranteeing 100% first-time deliveries, they allow for a reduction in the number of journeys and therefore in atmospheric pollution with considerable advantages also for the end user who could thus organize the delivery in the most practical and comfortable way for him, choosing the place and time of collection.
That's not all. To enjoy the benefits of these delivery methods is not only the environment but also the eCommerce itself. In fact, offering more flexible delivery solutions represents a huge advantage also for consumers who can thus enjoy a better experience during their purchase process and, consequently, reduce the abandonment rate of products already in the cart during checkout. In other words, the turnover of the eCommerce itself is also positively affected
So today Logistics is to all intents and purposes a marketing lever. 34% of final consumers state that they choose the online sales channel for the transport services it can offer. For this reason, companies with an online vocation can no longer do without offering quality and above all sustainable logistics service, both from an environmental, ethical and social point of view. Efficient and effective management of the Supply Chain, therefore, generates added value from the point of view of customer satisfaction, guaranteeing greater chances of user loyalty.
2023 is upon us and for the eCommerce sector, it will undoubtedly be the year dedicated to the themes of Proximity Logistics. It will no longer be enough to offer quality products, but it will be increasingly essential to offer quality and highly customizable logistics services based on customer needs. The policies for returning an item will be an integral part of the purchase decision-making process and cannot further burden traditional logistics flows. It will therefore be a new era, where those who are investing in the adoption of enabling technologies will continue to grow to the detriment of those who continue to think that Home Delivery is the only possible choice.