30 January 2021   

5 min read
A massive change is coming in the way Australians shop, accelerated by COVID-19 and Stockland’s logistics partners stand to be at the forefront of more local and direct delivery solutions.

COVID-19 has accelerated the advance of online shopping. By the end of 2020, Australia Post estimated 15 percent of all purchases were being made online with most goods travelling straight from a distribution centre to the customer, bypassing a retail outlet. It by no means declared the end of the face-to-face retail experience, but it certainly exposed the growth of a parallel channel.

It’s a trend most people have seen coming, even without a pandemic, but the extraordinary year just passed has advanced it’s adoption by up to fifty percent, according to some retail sources, including Adobe’s Digital Economy Index, creating challenges on a logistics supply chain that was not necessarily expecting such an influx of activity.

For the more sophisticated of the logistics suppliers, the new remote-shopping-by-necessity regime came as a boon, while those not so prepared were forced to quickly scramble to meet the unprecedented demand.

Post pandemic, near proximity of logistics centres to road, rail and ports will need to be further enhanced by positioning delivery opportunities close to the end user. The need was well established pre-COVID-19 but the pandemic has accelerated the requirement. It will become critical as logistics suppliers explore the last-mile delivery process, to put the goods in the hands of the purchaser.

Global e-commerce poses a real challenge to the traditional shopping and distribution process. Internationally, according to e-commerce specialist Beekeetings, transactions will rise from $1.3 trillion in 2014, to an estimated $4.5 trillion by 2021. Industrial players will need to innovate to keep up with demand.

The e-commerce penetration of 15 percent in 2020, is forecast by Australia Post to reach 25 percent by 2025. But, it’s unlikely the accepted shopping model will disappear any time soon. The personalised experience of the retail shop front will continue to be an essential and enjoyable part of the retail process; now backed, however, by a sophisticated delivery mechanism which enhances buyer satisfaction.

Following the urgency created by COVID-19 in 2020 and the ensuing pressure placed on logistics supply chains, innovative ways to improve the efficiency of warehouse-to-customer delivery will be one of the major imperatives of the next decade.