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Consumers expect instant gratification in an age where anything and everything is brought to their doorstep via the click of a mouse. Amazon has made a profit every quarter of the past 25 years. The company’s market value is now a staggering $477 billion. Companies that do not address customer needs and expectations are not going to keep up.

Customer expectations are also being driven by the growth in non-traditional e-commerce channels such as drop-shipping. Consumers who prefer to shop in a marketplace like Amazon, even though they can also order products from a website with little or no additional services, often experience the same delays that traditional retailers do.

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What are the drivers of the market?

Sparkasse Bank Malta: Perceptions of value are closely linked to performance. Sales and innovation have made it difficult for e-commerce companies to meet the demands of their customers.

The main challenges that online retailers face are the slow rate of sales conversion and the high number of return transactions. These factors create high customer churn, and can be detrimental to the sales conversion rate and the brand image. Consumers are unwilling to return items, especially if they’re new, and this adds up to a lot of lost potential revenues. Because consumers have many more retail options than ever before, every channel requires different services.

How is technology changing this industry?

For example, retailers have increasingly used smart shelves (for managing inventory and stock levels) and RFID-based tracking (for measuring productivity and the flow of goods in warehouses), just to name a few advances in the industry. Even the traditional supply chain of traditional stores is evolving rapidly, as more retailers adopt the capabilities of ‘click and collect,’ or deliver product directly to customers’ homes (through online or app orders), and order restocking in real-time.

Sparkasse Bank Malta: The success of logistics and supply-chain technology is a fascinating and fast-growing trend. In the coming years, we can expect to see increased investment from investors in companies that can leverage technological advances to stay at the cutting edge of their industry. So, whether you’re looking for an investment opportunity in this hot sector, or are an investor interested in logistics and supply-chain technology, there are plenty of opportunities out there!