E-Commerce Suffers From Continued Challenges and Uninspiring Results
The world of e-commerce is often seen as the saviour for fashion brands, retailers and ghost mannequin photography services like us. However, the reality is far removed with continued challenges including negative results and worker strikes. By understanding the bigger picture, it helps brands like ours to develop a plan to make the most of opportunities and protect ourselves from potential threats or challenges.
We have picked three interesting events in recent weeks that help to tell a more complex story about the struggles those in the e-commerce world face.
Many readers will be surprised by the headline data for sales performance figures released by IMRG. As part of their Online Retail Index, they track the performance of 200 UK retailers and in June there was a drop by 1.2% compared to last year. This may not seem like a huge amount, but when put alongside the fact that there has been negative or zero growth for 26 months in a row then it paints a shocking picture.
Looking a little deeper, traffic has gone up by 1.9%, which comes after seven months of negative data. Whilst this doesn’t guarantee positive results, the experts at IMRG suggest trends are moving towards positive growth later in the year. Sadly, current and future cost-of-living challenges may derail this forecast.
Perhaps the biggest brand synonymous with e-commerce is Amazon and yet they are not without challenges right now. A growing force of workers across the world has been pushing for union recognition at Amazon and workers at their warehouse in Coventry notified the business that they would strike on the most recent Prime Day.
Members of the GMB union were looking for an increase in the minimum wage of staff and this is something many retailers, both online and in-store are facing. How this impacts such a big business like Amazon, compared to smaller stores is hard to calculate but it will certainly become more of a challenge as the cost-of-living crisis continues.
One of the longest-running worker disputes has been the battle between Royal Mail and its workforce. They have faced challenges over recent years around significant losses, and changes to job roles and conditions. This directly impacts e-commerce, given the major role Royal Mail plays in delivering parcels, collecting returns and supporting brands of all shapes and sizes.
So it is good news that the latest dispute appears to be over, as the CWU union have backed the latest offer. With 18 days lost in the last quarter of 2022, this has had a genuine impact on e-commerce results.
Looking back on the standout figures in this article, as a ghost mannequin photography business we want to see e-commerce move forward in a far more effective and efficient way. There are some glimpses of light on the horizon but with potential mortgage challenges later in the year and inflation not reducing as expected, it is hard to forecast with any degree of accuracy.