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UK e-fulfilment: Market Insight Report 2015

  • June 2015
  • -
  • Apex Insight
  • -
  • 31 pages

This market covers the provision of fulfilment services to internet retailers in the UK. It includes both pure play on-line retailers and traditional store-based retailers which also have an online presence – increasingly this is all major retailers.

It does not include fulfilment of purely digital products such as software, travel tickets or music and video via electronic downloads.

Apex Insight quantifies the market size and historical growth rates, while reviewing key factors behind these figures.

We also carry out an in-depth analysis of the relevant drivers of industry growth – including the macroeconomic environment, e-commerce volumes – for both domestic and international orders – and e-fulfilment price and volume trends. It sets out historical trends and available forecasts.

Our forecast for industry growth is based on this our market model which has been constructed based on our analysis of trends and growth drivers and using assumptions based on market evidence and discussed in the report.

Why is this report interesting?

As internet shopping continues to grow, so the fulfilment of its orders continues to be a growth market – in contrast to the maturity of many areas of the logistics industry.

Key drivers include:
- Ongoing growth in internet penetration and consumer acceptance of, and enthusiasm for, shopping online.
- The increasing internationalisation of internet shopping.
- Innovations on the part of internet retailers, fulfilment providers and their transport partners – including click and collect, SMS notifications and development of chains of parcel shops and secure locker banks.

Who is it useful for?

The report is intended for:
- Operators of e-fulfilment and general logistics businesses
- Retailers who sell via the internet
- Investors in these businesses
- Potential new entrants to the e-fulfilment market
- Market regulators and policymakers
- Banks, analysts, consultants and other parties with interests in the sector.

What are the sources and methodology?

This report is based on
- Publicly available data including company annual reports, websites, press releases and government statistics
- Interviews with senior-level contacts in the market
- In-depth analysis of the macroeconomic environment and relevant market drivers such as trends in retail sales, internet shopping, mail order and price trends.
- Our own experience of carrying out commercial and operational due diligence on behalf of many investors considering backing logistics businesses.

Information from these sources has been synthesised and presented clearly and concisely with extensive use of charts and tables to illuminate points and support conclusions.

Table Of Contents

UK e-fulfilment: Market Insight Report 2015
Introduction 2
About Apex Insight

List of charts and tables 7

e-fulfilment market overview 8
International comparisons
Characteristics of the market
Low entry barriers for serving small customers
Scale necessary to serve large e-retailers
At the low end, margins may be higher but business is less secure and account management requirements may be greater
Desire of start-ups to outsource
Switching barriers
High importance of IT systems
Cost pressures from the consumer down the supply chain
High returns rates
Transport management

Market trends 13
Increasing internationalisation of e-commerce
Trend for baskets to get smaller
Delivery innovations
Click and Collect and multichannel retailing:
Delivery: convergence of B2B and B2C parcels operations
E-fulfilment developed in-house when e-retailers have the capacity

Market size and growth 16
Household Disposable Income and retail sales
Internet sales
Views of other analysts
Transaction volumes
International transactions
Market size and segmentation

Competitive landscape 20
Major logistics groups
Parcels groups
Fulfilment specialists
Smaller fulfilment specialists
Post offices developing e-fulfilment services

Forecasts 25
Driver forecasts
Household Disposable Income and retail sales
Mail order transactions
Average shopping basket
International transactions
Market forecast
Risks to the forecast

Appendix: List of abbreviations 30

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