Significantly better than its reputation: The study “Sustainability in Interactive Retailing” by the Bundesverband E-Commerce und Versandhandel Deutschland e.V. bevh emphasizes the social strengths of online retailing. For example, interactive trade makes rural areas more attractive.

For the analysis with the focus on interactive commerce, the bevh asked 800 bloggers and influencers, 400 representatives from business and trade, 200 members of civil society and around 50 experts from NGOs and governmental institutions for their opinions and recommendations. At first glance, this brought to light surprising results that are also inspiring for retailers: rural areas can benefit from more online trading. Because unlike the stationary retail trade, e-commerce companies do not need prime locations in large cities. According to the study, they mostly settle in urban clusters, thus upgrading the rural region and making it attractive for Newcomers.

More interactive trading can relieve the traffic

Another finding: More digitalization straightens out the delivery situation and prevents package congestions. Optimized transport makes many single journeys redundant. More and more parcels are being delivered using innovative methods such as freight bicycles or drones. This means that private individuals can do without shopping and thus reduce road traffic. Experts are positive about alternative and environmentally friendly mobility concepts in the city center: these could be lanes and stopping places for delivery vehicles, for example, which prevent the flow of traffic from being blocked. The study also takes a look into the future. An example of this is the issue of waste. Here, digitalization ensures that companies agree more and more on precise time windows for delivery with the customer. In this way, the goods can be handed over to the buyer with little or no packaging. This is a further step towards sustainability.

In video statements, bevh comments on seven particularly relevant topics

The study and the trend forecasts derived from the expert statements were summarized in the “White Paper on Sustainability“. Christoph Wenk-Fischer, Managing Director of bevh: “We have decided on this path within the framework of an “open open source study”, as the well-known way via studies does not work with these strongly transformative market changes due to digitalisation, sometimes even with disruptive characteristics. However, we are currently in a market environment that can change completely in parts within a few weeks due to technological, cultural or infrastructural innovations. In this respect, we hope that the “current trend forecasts” can contribute to a better classification of the status quo and potential developments. In short video statements, bevh comments on seven particularly relevant topics, including the Question: Will the trade only run via the internet in the future?


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Image: Deutsche Post