Well, it's been somewhat of a February slump in the e-commerce industry. This stall comes as no surprise due to the slowing down of retail after the holiday season and waiting for it to pick back up with the warmer weather. Instead of wasting time, the industry has been using this time to quietly prepare for the suspected uptick in orders by restructuring their supply chains, and evaluating their waste and taking steps to minimize their eco-footprint - all to meet a large e-commerce demand.
The most exciting thing to happen this month was the release of 2020's Q4 retail and e-commerce numbers. This helps prepare companies for the future and learn overall where consumers are spending their money.
Let's recap on what was the news of the month:
Q4 Numbers Released
Fourth-quarter e-commerce sales topped out at almost $207 billion. Q4 sales were up by 32.1% compared to 2019 Q4 sales. More than $1 in every $5 spent on retail purchases came from online orders in Q4. The numbers were slightly lower than expected by analysts. Generally, Q4 is the largest spending quarter with the holidays. Overall, this time in American and retail history is unprecedented, and we might never get definitive answers to the reasons for the decrease in retail sales in December. Still, it does prove to companies that the customer's behaviors always determine the numbers. Using AI to suit a customer's needs better is the best way to predict behaviors. If you're interested in learning more about the numbers' release, check out this blog here to learn more.
Etsy Targets net-zero carbon Emissions by 2030
Another company has joined the green space! Etsy has decided to go net-zero by the year 2030. Fashion United reports, "The US company said the committee would see it address Scope 1 and 2 emissions, including office operations and purchased energy, as well as Scope 3 emissions, which includes seller activities like shipping and packaging." They plan to slash Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 50% and Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions by 13.5%. Etsy's press release stated how they could expect to roll out this plan. "Etsy's trailblazing integrated reporting model enables us to share impact updates alongside our financial results, reflecting our strong belief that our performance and impact are inextricably linked. As always, we're committed to holding ourselves accountable and maintaining transparency as we push toward a net-zero 2030." They're much more to come, and we are sure as they pledge to follow, Science-Based Targets Initiative.
We are looking forward to seeing how they reach their net-zero emission goal!
US Postal Chief Commits to 10% Electric Vehicles
It's not going to come as a shock to learn that most of the Postal Service vehicles are around 30 years old. The US government noticed the need for an upgraded fleet in February when they were awarded a $482 million contract to Oshkosh Defense for the fleet upgrade. The US Postmaster General Louis DeJoy announced that he is committed to having this new fleet be 10% electric. This contract could be worth more than a billion considering how this will increase productivity, but it will increase the number of workers able to deliver packages. This comes at a great time as the shipping industry is only expecting to increase over time. This helps increase faith and trust in the USPS as rumors fly about defunding and slow delivery rates.
Though things are looking up with the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, nothing is set in stone. The industry must be ready to continue to follow consumer trends which means more shopping online. We are looking forward to these industry changes and seeing how e-commerce will continue to adapt and change.