Royal Mail predict that 2015 will be a year that sees online marketplaces continue to grow as as an outlet for UK ecommerce SMEs with seven out of ten businesses expecting sales to increase, according to their research.
They found that 63% of UK SME online retailers are planning to increase the number of channels they trade through. 25% of retailers plan to start using online marketplaces to increase sales for the first time.
British SMEs selling online are increasingly recognising the importance of providing a good returns process for online shoppers. 27% will be simplifying the returns process in 2015 to increase customer satisfaction.
Nick Landon, Managing Director of Royal Mail Parcels, said: “Royal Mail’s annual tracker study of UK SME online retailers shows that there is strong optimism for growth despite increasing competition.”
“UK SME online retailers are thinking carefully about how they can develop their businesses during 2015, with one in four looking to expand to online marketplaces, such as eBay and Amazon Marketplace. Simplifying the returns process for customers is also a key area of focus for many online retailers in the year ahead.”
I have always sent out the Books that I sell by Post. So I would hope that not only will the study show that there will be significant Growth in 2015 in the online market but that Royal Mail and the Post Office combine to win a greater share of the market. The most obvious way that they can is by developing and improving services and of course in controlling price rises.
As an example over the last month an up to 2Kg parcel second class has been £2-80. But this offer is to end in a week or so. Might I suggest that it should be continued for another 6 months at least, or even better made permanent. Another suggestion would be to make Tracked Services effective which they currently are not.
Royal Mail and the Post Office combined have the potential to be just about dominant in the parcel arena if only they will get their services and pricing correct. So lets hope that in 2015 they do.
It would be nice if instead of wasting money, manpower and time on such obvious reports they could improve value of their services. Real time tracking would be nice, obtaining signatures on signed for items or making it easier for recipients to collect their mail from delivery offices. It would be nice if they offered compensation on all services or at least made the claims process a bit more pleasant. So far one change is certain in 2015 – price change.
Ukmail now charge £1.99(Up from £1.25) for a signature as an option. The catch is, if you do not agree to the signature option, they will not insure it if it is lost or damaged.
That effectively rule them out for us, and even if we use them their headline prices are actually £1.99 + VAT higher than they claim….
We have just started selling on eBay but unfortunately are reluctant to use courier services like My Hermes and Yodel as we have had such bad dealings with them when we have bought things from Amazon and eBay.
At the moment we are only offering Royal Mail signed for as its the only one we have confidence in. Just wish they were a bit more competitive. I’m sure they would clean up if the got their act together with their pricing.
Unfortunately the other issue is unscrupulous buyers saying they haven’t received items and getting the stock and refunds from eBay. The signed for service at least offers sellers some protection. I know there are probably bad sellers out their too but I am just speaking from our experiences.
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