Navigating the Future of Retail: 6 Key Takeaways from Linnworks’ State of Commerce Ops Report

Linnworks’ State of Commerce Ops Report

Today, the newly released State of Commerce Ops Report by Linnworks presents a unique viewpoint, spotlighting the shifting priorities of consumers and the operational challenges faced by retailers in 2024. The report offers a groundbreaking perspective emerging in the realm of e-commerce, challenging industry norms and illuminating the evolving needs of today’s customers. 

Drawing insights from over 2,000 consumers and 1,000 e-commerce retailers, this report offers a nuanced understanding of the modern retail landscape. Contrary to popular belief, next-day delivery is no longer a top priority for consumers. Instead, pricing and transparency reign supreme, with consumers gravitating towards marketplaces that prioritise value and convenience over speed.

Key findings from the report shed light on the most pressing challenges and opportunities in e-commerce:

  1. Marketplace Dominance: Marketplaces emerge as the preferred sales channel, with 51% of consumers favouring platforms like Amazon and eBay. The appeal lies in the vast selection, competitive pricing, and convenience offered by these digital marketplaces.
  2. Shipping Challenges: Shipping delays (62%) and item damage (44%) top the list of consumer complaints, presenting an opportunity for retailers to enhance their logistics operations and elevate the customer experience.
  3. Consumer Expectations: Free shipping (52%) and hassle-free returns are paramount for consumers, underscoring the importance of convenience and transparency in driving purchasing decisions.
  4. Expansion Goals: With 52% of retailers prioritising growth, expanding into new markets and channels is the primary objective. Optimising performance on existing sales channels is also a top priority for e-commerce retailers, highlighting the pursuit of scalability and diversification.
  5. Operational Hurdles: Connectivity challenges and managing delivery costs pose significant obstacles for retailers. Over one-third of online retailers cite connecting to new channels as a major operational challenge, emphasising the need for streamlined processes and technology-driven solutions.
  6. Technology Integration: Despite the desire to streamline operations, many retailers still rely on custom-built (42%) and manual integrations (46%) to link their operations to marketplaces. This presents an opportunity to simplify and streamline operations through the adoption of advanced technology solutions.

The insights gleaned from the State of Commerce Ops Report underscore the vital role of connectivity in navigating the challenges and opportunities of modern retail. As consumers prioritise convenience and transparency over speed, and retailers strive to meet escalating demands while scaling their operations, the adoption of connected commerce operations emerges as the key to unlocking stability.

“In the retail landscape of 2024, connectivity isn’t merely an option—it’s the roadmap to retail success,” says Chris Timmer, CEO of Linnworks. “Our report underscores that it’s no longer enough for retailers to simply meet consumer demands; they must surpass them. By leveraging connected commerce operations, retailers can integrate every aspect of their business, from inventory management to customer service, setting a new standard for efficiency and customer satisfaction.”

By integrating technology solutions and streamlining processes, retailers can pivot swiftly, optimise performance, and deliver exceptional customer experiences. To delve deeper into these insights and equip your business for success in 2024 and beyond, download the full report now.