The January rains kept people indoors and the high street surprisingly lackluster, though nothing stopped shopaholics from getting what they want.
The weather affects nobody anymore, especially their shopping habits, as people can shop anytime anywhere these days so long as they have their desktop computer, mobile phone, or other devices to hand.
And with a range of apps designed for mobile shopping, consumers can easily obtain their needs (and wants) with just a couple of clicks, without having to worry if the weather agrees to it.
A clear proof is the spike in delivery volumes for online orders since 2013 during the first month of the year. The total parcels delivered increased to 20.6% compared to the same period in the previous year, says IMRG MetaPack UK Delivery Index.
That only validates the value consumers get from online shops and their increasing trust in e-tailers.
Keeping trust and loyalty
IMRG's data also revealed that the amount of parcels arriving on time increased to 90% in the month of January from 85% in December 2017. Still, it remains lower than 93% which was recorded in January 2017.
Aside from new orders, the report said product returns following strong sales during the holiday season contributed to the growth. To ensure their customers would retain confidence in them, online sellers delivered replacements of returned goods to the best of their ability and resources.
Andrew Starkey, head of e-logistics at IMRG, has this to say:
“Online sales revenue growth was also strong in January, up 13.9%, so it was a strong start to the year for online retail overall in spite of the ongoing economic uncertainty.”
To ensure they get the parcels delivered to their customers' doorsteps on time, e-tailers used a wide range of strategies; some employed click and collect while others had their items fulfilled by Amazon's FBA.
And as expected, they did not fail.
Gaining from in-store losses
It may be wrong to celebrate another's suffering, but anyone involved in business has accepted the fact that one man's failure could be another man's success.
A lot of retailers lost a great deal in profits resulting from the low footfall and sales at bricks-and-mortar shops, but this translated into massive gains for online businesses.
Although the weather would be a convenient excuse that no one can argue with, recent studies have shown that eCommerce is growing faster than expected.
IMRG's report only proves that online sellers have got off on the right foot this year and the eCommerce market remains buoyant, says Maria Dahlqvist Canton, global marketing director at MetaPack.
Considering that the beginning of the year is usually slow for eCommerce companies, it's refreshing to hear encouraging reports like this.
Perhaps if they covered more ground or made their offerings available in more channels, the high street won't have a hard time keeping up with their cyber counterparts.
So, how did you take advantage of the wet weather?