October 23, 2020

The mass consumption sector reinforces proximity logistics by anticipating a drop in visits to stores




By JC Valero

The 74 companies responsible for about 80% of the movement of goods of the mass consumption sector in Spain are preparing to strengthen their operations because they foresee that in the coming months proximity logistics will be set up and the digitization of documents will be consolidated. In the AECOC report “Prospects for mass consumption logistics in the new post-Covid environment”, Presented this Thursday by the association of manufacturers and distributors, there is also a drop in purchasing visits to physical establishments.

In another report entitled “How to work visibility at the point of sale in times of Covid”, also from AECOC Shopperview, indicates that eight out of ten consumers consider price as the most relevant information on the shelves, for 25% who seek information on sustainable, proximity or ecological products. Health and hygiene also gain relevance when buying, since 75% of consumers indicate that disinfection of cars is a decisive factor when choosing where to buy.

More e-commerce

In terms of logistics, one of the issues on which both distributors, manufacturers and logistics operators agree is to envision a near future in which e-commerce and home services will gain prominence, while 70% of those surveyed believe that purchasing in physical establishments will decrease in the new normal that, however, offers opportunities when it comes to building a more digital, agile and flexible logistics chain, in order to gain efficiency in the operations.

Regarding commercial activity, 70% of companies believe that the cessation of small companies and the self-employed will be the main problem that the transport of goods by road will face in the coming months, especially from the third quarter of the year . An aspect related to the closure of companies, such as lack of liquidity, is the second most referred to by the companies surveyed, especially as companies financing lines driven by the administration are exhausted, while the third most recurrent concern is the impact that the crisis will have on business investments and its result in issues such as fleet renewals or innovation projects, both key aspects in the objective of reducing emissions in logistics operations.

The best distribution in Europe

The sector does not foresee changes in its response capacity when it comes to guaranteeing the supply of stores. 54% of the managers of the companies responsible for 80% of the transport of consumer goods surveyed believe that the levels of stock breakages will remain at the pre-crisis ratios, by 21% who believe that they will even decrease and a 24% who believe they could increase. “Is a relevant data, taking into account that Spanish distribution was the one that best responded in all of Europe to the sudden growth in demand during the beginning of the crisis, with availability levels on the shelves close to 93% even at the most critical moments ”, underlined a spokesperson for the organization.

More than half of the manufacturers and logistics operators consider that the costs of storage and handling will rise, in part due to the impact that the prevention measures applied in de-escalation have on the productivity. Regarding distributors, 69.2% expect an increase in transport costs, especially due to the increase in long-distance empty returns and the increase in last-mile operations.

Price impotence increases

The other AECOC study reveals that, today, price is the most sought-after information among consumers who go to stores in the distribution sector. 78.3% of buyers consider it important to know the cost of the products they purchase, while 58.6% also claim posters about promotions and discounts. These indicators are in line with the situation of households caused by the Covid-19 crisis, since 39% of consumers affirm that their economic situation has worsened and 80.6% prioritize finding good prices when making In addition to the monetary aspect, the study highlights the interest of consumers in finding information related to the product sustainability. One in four buyers values ​​finding signage and indicators on proximity products and zero kilometer, sustainable and ecological. Another of the changes in habits caused by COVID-19 is the concentration of purchases. 62.6% of consumers already prioritize making all their purchases in the same establishment.

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