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Strengthen your Online Retail Offering

How can retailers strengthen their online offering? 

As physical stores began to open their doors, the demand for online shopping does not seem to be diminishing. Consumers are turning to e-commerce stores when seeking value, convenience and speed. For many customers marketplaces such as Amazon, offer a wide range of products in one place, with a service that is familiar, quick, and reliable. In a complex environment, how can retailers compete?

Contents Overview:

Marketplace v Retailers   How can retailers compete?  How can retailers stand out?  How can retailers deliver?  How can Whistl help? 

Download Whistl's Infographic: Strengthening your online retail offering

Marketplace v Retailers

Marketplaces are rapidly dominating the world of eCommerce and their revenue is expected to double by 2022. This isn’t surprising with half of UK’s online shoppers using marketplaces for their purchases.

Research conducted by Adobe also highlighted that UK shoppers are 4 times more likely to use marketplaces. Between March and June 2020:

  • 57% of shoppers are buying from marketplaces versus only 13% from online retailer sites.
  • Online shopper made 11 purchases from a marketplace versus 3 from an online retailer.
  • 50% choose online retailers for their initial purchase versus 31% for marketplaces.
  • Marketplaces are preferred for repeat purchases (47%) versus retailers (34%).


Although shopping through marketplaces offers convenience and reduced prices it can leave customers with buyer’s remorse. Sitecore’s survey found that 43% of UK shoppers wanted to decrease their Amazon purchases, citing low-quality products, limited choices, poor employment practices and wanting to support independent retailers.


How can retailers compete?


Two-thirds (64%) of shoppers feel retailers don’t truly know them so start by understanding your customer and why they buy online.

Why are customers shopping online?

Statista’s Global Consumer Survey asked consumers what they considered good reasons to buy an item online. 64% responded with direct delivery to my home, 58% said cheaper prices, 54% said it offered a more convenient way to shop.  Other reasons included greater product range, available round the clock and more possibilities to compare.

Why customers shop online.png

How are customers shopping online?

87% of shoppers say they start their hunt for a new product on digital channels. This isn’t limited to laptops, tablets and desktop/pc. 63% have used their smartphone to shop online in the last 12 months.


Rise of mobile eCommerce

Our mobile phones aren’t just for phone calls. They are used for messaging, social media, emailing and searching for goods:

Most used mobile activity:

  • 85% Sending and receiving
  • 81% Searching for goods and services
  • 76% Internet banking
  • 71% Messaging apps
  • 70% Social media

In 2019, UK sales from m-commerce amounted to £50.36 billion and are projected to increase to £105.28 billion. The projected increase in UK m-commerce is due to a number of factors:

  • 87% of UK adults owned a smartphone in 2020
  • On average, people check their phones every 12 minutes
  • 46% use their smartphones more since the pandemic

Retailers would benefit greatly if they invested in a mobile app that shares offers, encourages loyalty, improves customer engagement and increases sales.  In addition, email campaigns and a social media presence directing customers to retailer sites would also strengthen the m-commerce journey.

How can retailers stand out?

onus is on retailers and brands to find new ways to stand out.

Peter Bell, Marketing Director, EMEA, at Adobe

Retailers must attract and retain customers by offering more than great products or services. Loyalty programmes and customised products are just a few ways to stand out from Marketplaces.

Develop a referral programme suitable to your business and make it both easy and worthwhile, for your existing customers to recommend your brand.

How can retailers deliver?

Once retailers have gained customer insight and differentiated their brand, it’s time to implement their fulfilment strategy to meet demands and deliver to the end customer.

Meeting the demand

Online retailers must get their product to customers in the anticipated lead time to encourage repeat purchases. This requires warehouse facilities, shipping capabilities and return management.

Fulfilling the order

The surge in online shopping has seen a growth in the global e-commerce fulfillment market which is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 6.5% from 2020 to 2027.

Revenue for warehousing and storage in the UK is also expected in increase, projected to amount to $26.05bn by 2024.

Revenue stats.png

Fulfilment Services from Whistl

Why choose Whistl for your outsourced order fulfilment services?

Whistl’s outsourced order fulfilment services are tailored to support established brands and businesses receiving a minimum of 150 product orders a day. Whistl’s fulfilment services and managed support ensures product orders are delivered to your end customers, on-time for increased loyalty.

Whistl is the perfect order fulfilment partner for established brands and businesses. As a multi-channel fulfilment company, we can support all aspects of your product order needs, from business to consumer, business to business and even dropshipping. We create a partnership approach, with our flexible IT support and integrations ensuring transparency of stock and batch control.

National UK Based Fulfilment Centres

With our national fulfilment locations and a combined capacity of over 1.5 million square feet, we are the perfect partner to support your business to business fulfilment needs and business to consumer order growth. Our full account management support, combined with our cost efficiencies throughout the fulfilment process, delivers a fulfilment solution that fits your business needs.

National Fulfilment Sites.PNG

Receiving a high number of product orders a day? 

Whistl fuliment services can support both business to consumer and business to business needs. 

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Whistl's Full-Service Order Fulfilment Process

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Contact centre support is available throughout each step of this service

Want to share this insight or read more later?

Download Whistl's Infographic: Strengthening your online retail offering

Read our Outsourced Fulfilment Case Studies 

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