The technological advances in ecommerce mean 24% of retail purchases are expected to be made online by 2026, according to market research company Insider Intelligence.

Yet, one of the most old-fashioned bugbears of shopping remains a physical barrier to larger adoption – customer service.

During last December as Royal Mail strikes combined with treacherous weather, third-party pickup company Doddle found that 62% of shoppers had experienced at least one delivery issue in the month and 39% of consumers were considering switching retailers to avoid problematic carriers, their reputations damaged by the peak delivery failures.

Kitty Poole, Chief Marketing Officer at Doddle, argues that the delivery experience and associated customer service can undermine the technology supporting the expanding ecommerce industry.

“The way people shop is changing [and] keeping on top of that is hard and competition doesn’t look like it used to,” says Kitty.

“People are returning more than ever, [there are] sustainability and visibility of stock issues. The shopping experience is great, but getting their hands on their shopping, through delivery for instance, still doesn’t match up with the ease of the rest of the experience.

“It’s also out of the merchant’s control and has a huge impact on repeat purchase, so getting it right can make all the difference.”

How technology created a new online workplace

With Amazon alone employing an estimated 1.6 million people, ecommerce is the baby of millennials as they migrated from their analogue shopping world of bricks and mortar, and catalogues.

Tim Berners-Lee’s web browser was released to the public for the first time in 1993, while 1995 saw regulations changed to allow online shopping and the birth of eBay.

In two short years, consumers trusted a whole new internet system with their money and purchasing desires.

Remarkably, it was high street familiar WHSmith which began the craze in the UK on 27th April 1995 by taking the first secure online order. Compuserve UK’s Product Manager, Paul Stanfield, takes credit for being the first with his purchase of Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy, paying a whopping £1.95 for delivery.

Now, the global ecommerce market is expected to total $6.3trn by the end of 2023, with 57% of online consumers shopping internationally.

Yet, as Kitty notes, getting the basics right is as important as the technology employed behind the scenes to create a seamless shopping experience and design.

“Focus on delivery experience. Make sure people know when their order is arriving and where it is.

“One retailer we worked with saw a 23% drop in repeat purchases nine months after they changed courier which resulted in parcels going missing. Logistics are about the customer experience as much as the cost.”

Following customers onto social media

While technology will always underpin ecommerce platforms, changing habits of where consumers spend most of their time are driving strategies.

Statista recently revealed that nearly 100 million Americans shop on social media, and 55% of people aged 18 to 24 have made a purchase on social media.

These statistics mean the reach of ecommerce is almost infinite given the rising number of people with access to the internet (62% of the global population at the last count).

As Kitty confirms: “Users open Tiktok 19 times per day. This is where your audience is and where they are shopping, so it’s really important for brands to have a strategy.”

This social media growth also affects consumers in other ways, not least through influencer content.

Financial software company Intuit claims that 40% of us made a purchase because of social media influence, with the most popular products including clothing or accessories, health or beauty items, food or drinks, event tickets and holiday experiences.

Smartphone evolution also results in 91% of people making online purchases using their smartphone (PewResearch), meaning you can be influenced on the go.

Buying and selling has never been so easy. Just make sure you get the customer service right.

Latest News


Why you should be conserving your online legacy for future generations

One of the questions most commonly asked of historians today is how the history of our times will be written. By that, people don’t mean ‘will we be described as...



Explainer: What is sustainable tourism?

After the pandemic subsided, tourism took back its title as one of the largest industries in the world, accounting for 10% of global GDP.  Even though there are no figures to show...

Capital Monitor


Why Big Tech pretends AI is dangerous

In April 2018 Mark Zuckerberg appeared before the US Senate to answer questions on the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election, and whether Facebook now represented a threat to the free...

The New Statesman


LinkedIn survey: Majority of B2B marketing leaders expect budgets to grow

LinkedIn’s The B2B Marketing Benchmark paper makes positive reading as the world’s largest professional network signals marketing is in rude health. Surveying nearly 2,000 senior B2B marketing and finance leaders,...

Lead Monitor


Getting up close and personal with Rwanda’s mountain gorillas

Maerrhumm… maerrhumm,’ I repeat under my breath, mustering the deepest grunt I can. But in gorilla speak, uttered with lowered eyes and a stoop, this is a relatively quiet and...



Government looks to space to solve UK 5G connectivity problems

The UK government has launched a new £160m fund to back satellite-based solutions that could fill the gaps in the UK’s 5G network. At present, businesses and consumers in rural areas often...

Tech Monitor


India needs $1.1trn to tackle climate change by 2030

India’s central bank has estimated the country would have to spend Rs85.6trn ($1.1trn) to adapt to climate change by 2030. This came in a new report, Towards a Greener Cleaner India,...

Capital Monitor


Nick Robinson interview: Whatever happened to broadcast news impartiality?

Nick Robinson does not shy away from confrontation. When he was political editor of the BBC, he had high-profile run-ins with Alex Salmond (who accused him of “heckling” him at an SNP press conference)...

Press Gazette


As ChatGPT is predicted to lead to job growth, marketers reveal how they use the AI tool

Global technology consultancy Lorien has boldly forecast that AI models such as ChatGPT will benefit the tech sector within business with roles in machine learning, natural language processing and data...

Lead Monitor