Enterprise Times met up with Rory O’Conner, CEO and founder of Scurri. The company plays a key role in the eCommerce eco-system. Scurri provides software that connects and optimises the online ordering, shipping and delivery process. Formed in 2010, based in Wexford, Ireland Scurri has built an effective and adaptable platform designed to meet business eCommerce needs.
The company provides access to access to a wide range of UK, International and global carriers.
Scurri emphasises ‘connecting commerce’ because the company adds value at multiple stages during the eCommerce journey. From selecting the most effective delivery option for each package to providing tracking from despatch to delivery. Scurri enables eCommerce operators to confidently scale and reach customers all over the world.
The current COVID-19 pandemic has presented new challenges to business irrespective of size, sector or industry. This is particularly the case with businesses with complex supply chains. Organisations who need to ship parts, components and products globally or within national borders.
Scurri’s eCommerce trends in March 2020 have demonstrated some of the rapid changes that has occurred last month.
- Worldwide online orders went up by 88%.
- Average order value rose by 212%.
- March UK grocery sales were £10.8 billion. The represents 100% increase in daily online grocery sales.
- Interestingly, 6 am to 8 am was the most popular time for online shopping
Protecting the supply chain
As a result of the current pandemic, businesses must respond on multiple fronts at once. They have to protect their workers’ health and safety. They must also safeguard their operational viability, now increasingly under strain from a historic supply-chain shock.
Operational departments struggle to cope with the COVID-19 global pandemic. Most have been trying to keep up with the news about global response measures. Some enterprises have been working diligently to secure raw materials and components and protect supply lines. However, vital information is often not available or accessible across their global teams. As a result, their response to the disruption has been reactive and uncoordinated. Furthermore, the impact of the crisis is hitting many companies full force in the face.
While China is slowly getting back in business, the rest of the world is still lagging by many weeks. This gap is only expected to widen. The implications of the crisis are becoming more apparent – many more companies are feeling the heat from less in-store spending.
O’Connor believes the conversation on supply is about to very quickly shift to Q3/Q4 concerns. The disruptions are already starting to impact the shipment of goods to retailers for the back-to-school season. Many political analyst expects the lock down to continue into Q2. If the situation persists which it could end up hitting Black Friday/Cyber Monday and the December holidays. The sales period when many retailers make the bulk of their profits.
Online shopping spend
While online shopping is going up, consumers are not just spending out of necessity. Scurri has seen a 35% increase in delivery volumes from March 1 in the UK. Some of the specific areas of non-essential spending they have seen include:
- While consumers spending in ways which make isolation easier – Scurri has seen increases in entertainment, toys and hobbies. The company has also seen spend in fashion.
- Other areas such as DIY and home improvement have also seen greater online sales volumes. The house-bound use the time for home improvement projects.
The spike in online shopping has already put huge pressure and shipping costs on suppliers. Scurri is working with merchants to help ensure that they are using the right carrier for each shipping. This should ensure costs are kept down and deliveries completed as quickly as possible.
According to O’Connor, “We expect eCommerce transaction volumes continue to rise in the weeks ahead. We expect people to continue to stock up on essentials. In addition, to the non-essentials to make isolation more bearable.”
Changing consumer behaviour
COVID-19 will have a dramatic long-term impact on consumer shopping habits, speeding up the shift to online retail, a new study from Kantar suggests. Not only has the share of people who undertake 50% or more of their total purchases online grown by between 25-80% since the virus has developed, but six in 10 consumers intend to continue buying as much online once the pandemic has passed as they do now
According to O’Connor, “Looking to the long-term, I’m sure this pandemic will cause changes in lifestyles. Certain attitudes and behaviours will never be the same again. There will be more online, but we don’t think it will kill offline retail either.“