New research has revealed that small ecommerce businesses are investing in their own delivery drivers amid driver shortages, supply chain issues and Covid restrictions.
In a survey of 100 small and medium sized UK ecommerce retailers, almost all have experienced an increase in online orders since March 2020, and two thirds (64%) of online retailers have had to invest in their own delivery fleet to meet customer demand.
The research also found that one-in-five have hired between five and 10 new drivers to keep up with customer demand.
Ronald Clancy, UK country manager at Vimcar, said: “It is promising to see that business is thriving for ecommerce retailers despite an extremely turbulent 18 months.
“There remain many wider economic challenges for small businesses to overcome and what this research shows is that many ecommerce SMEs are having to rapidly adapt their business models in order to remain agile and continue to meet customer demand.”
Three quarters of respondents said that expanding their delivery fleet had made admin 'more difficult' to manage. Vimcar said this highlights the need for ecommerce businesses to simplify the management of growing fleets.
Over a third of survey respondents expect demand in delivery to increase further, reflecting wider industry reports on increasing delivery volumes in the lead up to the peak Christmas season.
Clancy added: “Efficient fleet management will be crucial to the ongoing success of small and medium sized retailers as poorly managed fleets and drivers can quickly drain a business’ costs and resources.
“Simplifying fleet management is therefore vital to any ecommerce retailer wanting to maximise the investment they’ve made into delivery services.”