Fashion companies make the strongest use of support from service providers in areas such as online marketing or fulfilment, according to a report conducted by World Business Research Digital on behalf of arvato.
The report highlights the international potential in e-commerce, points out differences between the industries and provides insights into tendencies regarding outsourcing and multi-channel solutions.
The survey predominantly looked at British companies in the beauty, fashion, fast-moving consumer goods and luxury segments, as the UK is leading in online trade. It found that the fashion industry has significantly more web shops and online presence in more countries than the segments beauty, FMCG and luxury. In a country comparison across industries, Germany scores the highest position in continental Europe when it comes to web shops, followed by France.
Niels Weithe, managing director of arvato SCM Consumer Products, said: “The study shows that the trade is currently going through a major change. The e-commerce business is growing rapidly. However, to gain customer satisfaction and to be successful in the long run, retailers should keep an eye on the entire value chain beyond the web shop, including fulfilment.”
Almost 50 per cent of the surveyed companies in e-commerce work with external service providers. With a share of 56 per cent, the fashion industry once again turns out to be the driver of this development. The strongest outsourcing domains are online marketing, website development and website operation.
“The various industries haven’t yet developed a concise outsourcing strategy,” said Weithe. “Even the best marketing won’t succeed if the processes aren’t right. The companies in this field therefore still have a lot of opportunity to improve their efficiency.”
With regard to future expansion, the companies are looking primarily to the US and Chinese markets. In the luxury sector, Germany is in third position. When asked about their plans for further outsourcing of e-commerce services, most of those surveyed said that their focus was on the European region, while it transpires that the highest support requirement is seen in online marketing, followed by logistics and fulfilment.