5 Powerful Reasons to Focus on Mental Health in the Workplace

If you’re not aware, it’s Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK. It’s an important time to provide a safe space to focus on mental health, raise awareness, and cultivate a sense of comradery. Covid raised mental health awareness to new levels, as it directly affected everybody worldwide. Gauging the risks and benefits of mental health matters for your employees as well as your business.

We’re often so focused on numbers and memos and meetings that it’s easy to neglect self-care. We often give an abundance of energy to our work, our families, and to our community – while neglecting ourselves. This has a direct cascading effect on everybody around. Left untreated, it can compound into decreased company morale, inefficiencies in the workplace, and declining revenue as a result. Right now is the time for us to open up and be honest about what we’re going through, both for ourselves individually, and for business. This is a critical public health issue, and it needs our attention.

“66% of respondents in a survey concluded that their workplace did not have any policies or programmes to promote mental health”

Many companies have taken long strides to put this at the forefront of their cultural values, improving the lives of their employees daily. Not only do employees get more job satisfaction, but companies excel as a result. Remember that happier employees equate to happier customers.

From extra time off to remote working, better health benefits to HR efficiencies, businesses everywhere are positively benefiting in various ways. Let’s discuss 5 powerful reasons to focus on mental health in the workplace.

 

Table of contents

1) Mental health affects productivity

2) Mental health awareness Increases employee retention

3) Mental health investment decreases business costs

4) Less stress increases company profits

5) Being open about mental health encourages a better team working environment

 

1) Mental health affects productivity

Mental health well-being has a direct correlation with the productivity of employees. That productivity, or lack thereof, directly affects revenue. The Mental Health Foundation recently released a report that found 5 per cent of the UK’s GDP directly suffers due to this. If you extrapolate that to the actual cost to the UK economy, that’s £117.9 billion annually. Mental health issues include depression, anxiety, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder, phobias, and bipolar disorders.

mental health in the workplace, mental health in the workplace uk, mental health for employers, cost of mental health in the workplaceUsing a preventative-based approach toward improving health and wellness in the workplace matters – especially since the third biggest cause of disability in the UK is depression. Employees often work very hard and long hours and can be stressed out about deadlines and various pressure from executive staff. Employees may keep the anxiety hidden inside and put on a brave face, but subconsciously have damaging toxic thoughts, behaviours, and emotions.

Depression and mental illness aren’t always easy to spot. Oftentimes, some of the seemingly happiest people are the most depressed. They put on a brave face for co-workers (because they’re professional) while suffering in silence. There is a term for this, and it’s known as “smiling depression.” This is known as someone living with depression on the inside yet appearing perfectly happy to the outside world. Maybe they don’t feel safe divulging their true feelings. Maybe they are fearful of saying what they really think for fear of job security and retaliation. Employers need to do a better job to ensure employees are happy and feel comfortable opening up.

Common signs of mental health decline in employees are a reduction in productivity, making uncommon mistakes, isolating themselves, and looking fatigued.

 

4 ways employers can improve productivity with mental health initiatives

  1. Offer mental health time – Give extra days off each quarter just for mental health
  2. Spend more 1 on 1 time with employees. HR and leadership need to spend more time simply being more empathetic. Schedule monthly check-in sessions for this purpose alone.
  3. Invest in better health care plans – Medical benefits are great, but make sure your company goes the extra mile to offer extensive mental healthcare help.
  4. Offer seminars & training on mental health – HR should prepare presentation training around mental health. How to spot signs, what to do, and how to approach requesting time off for this issue.

Use the 4 strategies to normalise mental health and boost productivity in your business. It’s not only smart, but it’s also good ethical practice. It’s just the right thing to do. Being more compassionate to your staff improves morale and encourages better teamwork overall.

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2) Mental health awareness increases employee retention

When you develop a culture of well-being, employees feel more stable and secure. Company culture is everything – and those who take it for granted will surely feel the pain.

One of the biggest reasons employees value working for a company is for the benefits that are included with their salary – but also the culture and company ethos. To go one step beyond, adding increased access for “work perks” around the health of the mind appeals even greater – directly affecting retention.

Ultimately your values are what your employees will personally identify with as key difference when making job decisions.

This could be everything from employer-funded counselling to discounted gym memberships, to early finish days. Every little bit helps, and it doesn’t have to only be mentally focused. Healthier employees are less likely to be depressed as they naturally feel better with exercise. Work benefits like this help reduce addictions to alcohol or drugs.

“50% of individuals with severe mental disorders are affected by substance abuse.”

I implore every company to make better strides and make mental health the number one priority for their business – to keep workers happy, and working for you for longer periods of time. Focusing more on mental health in the workplace fosters engagement and job satisfaction. Bad workplace environments overemphasise punishment while good workplace cultures emphasize rewards, caring, and empathy.

Remember that nothing will stagnate a company more than staff feeling underappreciated.

 

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3) Mental health investment decreases business costs overall

As businesses know, medical benefits are one of the most attractive reasons for employees to be with a company. But what about access to therapy and mental health resources? As discussed, there is a direct link between mental health well-being and workplace productivity.

When employees don’t have the proper access to mental health services or general mental health-related perks, businesses can expect to spend as much as 300% more on health care.

All industries experience significant financial losses as a result of poor mental health within the workforce. According to the world health organisation, anxiety and depression cost the global economy 1 trillion in lost productivity every year – and self-insured employers shoulder much of the cost burden.

Employees suffering from poor mental health at work make the company pay for it both directly and indirectly. The direct costs refer to the “visible costs” associated with the diagnosis and treatment of a mental health condition, such as psychotherapy or psychiatric drug costs. Indirect costs refer to the “invisible costs” associated with the downstream impact of mental health conditions such as productivity, physical health care costs, and accidents.”

Awareness of mental health in the workplace should be carefully observed and detected before it develops into a worst-case scenario. This starts with companies knowing the common signs of depression.

5 Signs of depression 

1) Changes in sleep and appetite

2) Loss of interest in pleasurable things

3) Feelings of hopelessness

4) Lack of self-esteem

5) Fatigue and feeling lethargic

Invest in mental health today for employees so you don’t incur more costs on your business. It’s a responsible financial practice which also encourages employee longevity. Praise openness around this issue and be a positive example for employees by sharing your own experiences.

 

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4) Less stress increases company profits

As we’ve already discussed, productivity has a direct parallel predictable effect on revenue. The happier the employee, the better they work, and the better the company does overall. It’s a direct compound effect.

Not investing in employee mental health is a missed opportunity. A car tire can only last so long until there is a blowout on the highway – causing chaos. When you hire an employee, you should not only think about investing in that person’s professional skills but their mental and emotional acuity. You should think of being responsible for this person’s well-being – not just what they can do for you.

 

 

For every £1 spent on supporting employee mental health, employers get back £5 back on their investment in reduced presenteeism, absenteeism, and staff turnover.

To provide a very inspiring example, and perhaps one of the most innovative is a story from a Washington based tech company.

In 2015 the CEO of Gravity payments (Dan Price) decided to do something extraordinary, something innovative, and extremely kind for his employees. As we all know, one of the biggest worries for every human being on this planet is financial security. One of his most dedicated employees was struggling financially to afford a home in a suburban area of Washington. The cost of living rose – making it harder for everyone to afford standard living conditions. She struggled as a result. She wanted a better life for herself and her children. She was also a two-tour war veteran and Dan didn’t feel it was fair. It was then he had a revelation. So, to improve the mental health and well-being of all his employees, he helped eradicate mental related stresses around financial security by introducing a $70,000 minimum salary for all his 120 staff. This helped to level the playing field for the bloated costs of living compared to standard salaries for job positions in that area.

To do this Dan took a $1 million dollar pay cut to his salary. He sold his house and changed his standard of living so his employees could benefit more. From this point, he saw employees happier and less stressed daily. He completely turned capitalism on its head, destroying the pyramid scheme of typical Fortune 500 companies. This is the kind of innovative compassionate capitalism that larger companies should take notice of. Not only did his employees thrive, but the business grew as well.

“Employees were happier and the international attention and press increased the company’s prominence and revenue by 3x within five years.”

What an innovative idea to garner more customers huh? Though this wasn’t the motivation behind the increase – it certainly brought innovation to typical corporate financial structures. I mean, what customer doesn’t want to work with a company like this? I have a strong feeling Dan’s employees will be staying with his company for a long time – and his customers. Many companies will say they truly care about their employees and do everything they can to ensure it. How many actually do it though? This is one of the greatest examples of a company leading by example.

In the UK, the average CEO earns 117 times the salary of the average worker. People are starving or being laid off and being taken advantage of, and yet many companies are still not leading from Dan’s example. Though not every company may not be successful enough to offer this incentive, they can certainly start getting creative ideas flowing to better help their employees financially. Even a 10% increase to employees company-wide can make a significant difference to compensate for worldwide increases in living costs. Perhaps cut wasteful spending in other areas so this can be accomplished. Companies can also offer special bonuses, profit-sharing schemes, and/or stock options. Invest in your staff and they will invest in you. Turn your staff members into raving fans.

 

5) Being open about mental health encourages a better team working environment

Normalising stress, anxiety, and depression reduces stigmas around mental health. When your business implements mental health programmes and even training, employees are less likely to suffer in silence. As a result, they feel a deeper emotional connection to their work peers. This creates trust and solace – much like a friend. Working together becomes easier and encourages better teamworking environments. Judgement decreases and empathy increases.

A recent study revealed 89% of CEO’s agree that there is a positive link between employee mental health and company mental health programmes. 75% of employees stated that they appreciate it when their leaders speak openly about mental health. It no longer becomes a moot subject – but a tangible companywide value that everyone understands and appreciates. Depression and anxiety affect everyone worldwide – so let’s be loud and proud about it.

Steven Bartlett, CEO, Social Chain

Ensuring your staff are supported and cared for is paramount. Mental health problems can fluctuate, so being consistent matters. Work diligently today to invest in the health of your business, starting with the mental health of your employees.

Happy mental health awareness week.

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Online fashion industry and fashion fulfilment in 2022

The online shopping industry in recent years has steadily taken over certain sectors, especially the online fashion industry. Brick and mortar fashion retail appears to be on the decline while fashion eCommerce is on the rise. This is a logical conclusion of lockdowns, but also due to a lack of tourism and ongoing supply chain issues. The big question now is are we witnessing the new normal?

To assist in fulfilling this online shopping golden era, 3pl services will automate your storage, and manage your inventory, packaging, and shipping. Switching to a 3PL in this online fashion boom in 2022 could exponentially grow your operations and increase your sales. Learn more below about fashion fulfilment and the online fashion industry.

Table of contents

1) Brick and mortar vs online fashion world

2) Online Fashion market

3) Brick and mortar pain points bring more opportunity for eCommerce sellers

4) Fashion fulfilment customer experience

5) Online fashion returns

6) Automation and brand control fashion eCommerce fulfilment

7) Online fashion industry conclusion

Fashion eCommerce

Brick and mortar vs online fashion world

fashion ecommerce, fashion fulfilment, fashion 3plA personalised shopping experience has always mattered to customers. We know what we like, the brands we admire, and how much we want to spend. Traditionally our only option was the in-store shopping experience where we could see and touch the products we wanted to buy. However, modern technology is completely improving the online shopping experience with AR and VR, making it more customised and convenient. Window shopping has become much simpler on a phone or tablet and offers customers a greater variety of buying options.

77% of digital window shoppers tend to make impulse purchases.”

More online fashion brands are improving mobile shopping experiences today, creating trust and retention with consumers globally. With technology innovations in this new world of convenience, e-tailers are capturing more market share by focusing on it. Improving the simplicity of the D2C & B2C eCommerce fulfilment experience is completely reshaping the fashion industry.

Styles change seasonally in the fashion industry. Fads come and go. What is not a fad is service and convenience. Speed is king today for customer expectations when it comes to shipping. Especially if consumers are willing to forgo the in-store shopping experience and instead participate in fashion retail online. Those who work to improve their supply chain with next day delivery automatically separate themselves from their competitors massively.

Next day delivery can help businesses gain a competitive edge over other industry players

As online fashion retail soars in 2022, novel solutions are needed for fashion fulfilment, delivery, and bespoke services. This is where more eCommerce fashion companies will thrive with 3pl services. Whether you’re looking to outsource fulfilment operations completely, or simply relieve supply chain pressure in key areas, automation means scalability.

Online Fashion market

online fashion market, fashion retail online, online fashion industry, fashion fulfilment servicesAs UK retail fashion online sales increased 19% in 2020, brick n mortar sales fell by 24%. This shift to fashion eCommerce was an obvious transition, forcing bigger brands to focus on digital sales channels. Fashion is one of the most popular products selling online today. The most popular categories sold online include clothing, household items, groceries, and electronics. To start let’s go over online shopping statistics in the fashion retail sector to present an overview of the size of the industry.

The eCommerce fashion industry is estimated at 760 billion pounds worldwide. The most popular divisions largely include apparel, accessories, and footwear. By 2025 the market valuation is estimated to increase to 1 trillion. The largest online fashion shopping market is China, valued at 284 billion.

The next largest market is the United States, estimated at 126 billion, followed next by the United Kingdom at 32 billion. In 2020, 87% of UK households made online purchases, the highest online purchase penetration rate the last decade. The latest research is predicting that 52% of UK apparel sales will take place online in 2022. Following from this is Japan at 23 billion and Germany at 22 billion.

The largest online fashion retailers currently include Nike, Zara, Shein, and H&M. As more customers shop online in 2022, brands will be working to make online shopping a more immersive experience. This includes virtual reality selling, subscription models, and will even include metaverse eCommerce.

Nevertheless, digital selling will continue to its ascension as more people are preferring shopping from home in 2022. Does this mean brick n mortar will become less relevant in the coming years?

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Brick and mortar pain points brings more opportunity for eCommerce sellers

Technology not only connects the world better, but it increases freedom. From the days of letter writing snail mail to email, from home phones to mobile phones, technology shapes culture. It shapes behaviours and values. Today technology has completely reshaped our personal shopping experiences. The common denominator in all these technological innovations is convenience.

Convenience will always be king. Convenience is at the top of the priority list for customers. This is the strongest reason fashion customers prefer online shopping to traditional brick n mortar shopping. For them, there is no waiting in line. There is no walking around a crowded shop for the exact item needed. There is no hassle from the sales staff. Plus, there is an abundance of buying options with competitive pricing on related fashion items – and all from the comfort of your own couch!

Freeing up operations saves time and money

Without the need for overhead costs like physical space and employees, eCommerce stores can significantly scale their operations. Want to grow faster? This is how to do it – smarter and faster. Cost savings on overheads allows you to reduce prices on your own products, instantly being more competitive in the marketplace.

Other incentives for consumers shopping online

1) Free shipping
2) Reviews
3) Price comparison
4) Safety (Covid fears)
5) Discounts

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Fashion Fulfilment Customer experience

Customer experience matters. Customers have elevated expectations, especially nowadays, and those customers who have a wonderful experience with brands will likely repurchase. This is because of trust. Developing trust with online transactions is critical. As the adage goes, you only have one chance to make a first impression. 1 in 3 customers will leave a brand they love after just one bad experience, while 92% would completely abandon a company after two or three negative interactions. From order to delivery, it is all part of a 360 journey, a complete journey you must pay attention to in fashion and apparel.

Fashion is a highly competitive space, and seasonal changes affect stock levels quickly. Cloud-based fulfilment allows you the freedom to make quick adjustments on your inventory with multiple items. Organising your stock & implementing efficient warehouse management can be completed with the touch of a button. Otherwise, errors with antiquated systems of stock management will stunt your company’s growth and be very costly in the process.

46% of SMBs either do not track inventory or use a manual method

3PL’s make the perfect partner for fashion retailers as the service is designed for smaller items. These items can easily be packaged and sent with same day dispatch. You can do custom packaging for the brand focused sellers and offer online tracking to your customers. Fulfilment services excel in this as experts because they do it every day and ensure efficiency and accuracy.

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Next day delivery

Great products are everywhere. Similar products, similar materials, similar styles. What is not so great quite often is other important customer touchpoints. Offering next-day delivery for example is not always a top priority for brands when they’re scaling or focusing on other channels of the business.

If you are working with a 3pl, ensure same day dispatch is available for shipping. Customers are so spoiled today with quick delivery. The smart brands will offer it because they know they need to. Without a doubt, staying behind this trend will leave you in the dust – you must ship faster to compete in today’s online fashion industry.

Approximately 43% of consumers choose next day delivery.

Online fashion returns

With the highest percentage of returns in eCommerce (fashion), a smooth returns experience is paramount for online fashion brands. Being organised in your logistics operations with various SKUs demands a sophisticated warehouse management system (WMS). Great3pl returns management, e commerce returns process, online fashion returns, online return process, 3pl shipping, easy return online shopping, technology and automated practices with a customer-powered return solution (like Return Robin) free up valuable business time.

Clothing returns account for 75% of total returns. Why is this? Well, the obvious issue here is the reality of online selling. Not being able to try on something before you buy it can be challenging. This is something that is being improved each day with AR/VR selling for eCommerce returns.

For eCommerce businesses to maintain the sustainability of online sales and not alienate customers further, then ensuring a smooth returns experience is mandatory.

Best business practices to avoid eCommerce returns & ensure future business  

  1. Include highly detailed accurate descriptions of your products. Inaccurately labelled descriptions are the top reason for most eCommerce returns. Include as much detail so that your customer feels they are getting exactly what they want.
  2. High-quality images & video – Using higher quality images and/or 3d renderings helps your customer see exactly what they’re buying. Videos also add an extra level of transparency to ensure quality and encourage better buying decisions.
  3. Make sure your customers can return products at no cost to themselves. Offer a Collect + return option or Return Robin solution, powered by Selazar.

If you’re using a 3PL make sure they offer you an easy returns policy and process. Quality checks can be done on products, then once cleared, be readded to your stock for reselling. Smart, simple, automated solutions.

*Selazars Return Robin integration provides a single platform for managing high levels of returns, bringing convenience and simplicity to reverse logistics. Customers can return items from the comfort of their homes – an innovation in 3PL services.

Live chat

It would behove me not to mention a considerably basic but important principle of business, communication. Live chat needs to be embraced and implemented by more online retailers. Selling online means there is an obvious barrier unlike when customers shop in-store. In-store they have instant access to customer service. If they call, there is usually a long wait until you are given 10 options for the right department, which is exhausting. This is the OLD way of doing business, though it is still important to have. Customers need to feel they can trust you, and an immediate connection with live chat facilitates this process.

79% of customers say they prefer live chat because of the immediacy it offers. This matters in the age of convenience, right? Technology has spawned new breeds of shoppers. It would be prudent for brands to digitally transform the way they communicate. Today, 41% of customers expect live chat on your website, although research has shown only 9% of companies offer it.

Get on the train.

Automation and brand control fashion eCommerce fulfilment

inventory management, online fashion industry, ecommerce fulfilment, fulfillment centers, fulfilment centres, shipping warehouse near me, pick and pack pricingAs brands secure more omnichannel selling services like third-party logistics it is imperative for them to not let go of the brand, right? Brand matters. Branding has many advantages – luckily this service is not lost with third party logistics. With a 3PL you still have the option for customisation like custom packaging. This will be automated to your exact specifications. Pretty neat huh?

Using eCommerce warehouses is the best way to save on costs for warehouse space, employees, shipping, but also brand control. Service will not only continue for your business when you outsource it to a 3pl, it will improve. 3PLs, like Selazar, are experts in fulfilment.

Fashion eCommerce fulfilment inventory management

One of the biggest issues in the fashion industry is holding onto substantial amounts of stock. Items have so many sizes and colours, creating massive amounts of data collection and inventory management. An optimised software solution will be more efficient, allowing control of hundreds of SKUs from a single platform.

With the high number of SKUs to manage (style/size/colour combinations), a good 3PL can help you alleviate the stresses of managing multiple items – while being able to bundle items together or separate them as single items for sale.

Online fashion industry conclusion

The data is real. Fashion retail online is the new normal. Online fashion industry retailers need to rectify new options for their target customers, including omnichannel fulfilment to support the online experience. It’s obvious what the customers are saying in 2022 – they want more shopping from home convenience. Leveraging the best solutions for this process will keep you competitive in a new digital landscape. Make sure your eCommerce fulfilment service has smart operations that will automate your entire product journey from sale to final mile delivery and returns management. It will save you time. It will save you money. It will save you headaches and hassle.

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Sporting Goods: Sporting Equipment & Accessories Market 2022

Like many other industries, the sporting goods online market contracted in 2020. However, due to new online shopping behaviours and the situation at that time, sporting goods quickly saw an uptick in sales in the second quarter. People sought new hobbies and activities to keep them entertained while in lockdown, encouraging sporting goods sales all around. Sportswear companies also significantly showed more resiliency during the pandemic than the rest of the apparel industry and continued to outperform, clearly showing consumer interest at that time.

 

Table of contents

1) Sporting goods online market

2) Sporting equipment

3) Sporting accessories

4) Sporting clothing

5) Sporting goods customer demographics

6) Sporting goods trends 2022

7) Athleisurewear competition

8) Sporting goods returns

9) Ethical Sustainability

10) Higher fulfilment standards

 

Sporting goods online market

By 2025, the global sporting goods market is estimated to grow to 395 billion. The sporting goods market includes sporting equipment, sportswear, and sports accessories. This multi-billion industry has seen major market shifts online in the last 2 years.

Thanks to more health-conscious consumers in 2022 and the wellness industry, plus the growing online sector, these factors are bolstering sales. From sports apparel to licensed merchandise, manufacturers are focusing on multi-channel fulfilment strategies with a core focus on the online sporting goods marketplace. sporting goods, sporting goods market, sporting goods industry, sports clothing industry, sporting equipment industry, sporting goods stores, what is sporting goods,

Sporting accessories and clothing increased as recreational activities soared, gaining more prominence in the fashion & health sectors. This was especially beneficial for many larger lifestyle brands with the likes of Nike, Under Armour, New Balance & Columbia.

The US sporting goods online market is the largest market currently at 45 billion a year. In the UK there was a 13.7% sales increase in home exercise equipment during 2020. A 2021 survey in the UK confirmed 33% of consumers bought sporting goods online, a major shift from the previous year. This trend is sure to increase in 2022.

“During the pandemic, digital was the only way to connect, now it is completely normal.”

-Caio Amato, brand leader, Oakley

Sporting Equipment

Sporting equipment relates to sports, recreational, athletic and/or fitness related. Currently, the largest market segment in the world of sporting equipment includes ball games. The popularity of sports like cricket, baseball and football are what is driving popularity.

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Sporting equipment list

Sticks, bats, and clubs

Racquets

Wickets and bases

Fishing equipment

Balls and discs

Boards

Bikes

Skis

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Sporting Accessories

Sports accessories are used in tandem for training and competing in sports. Europe is the leader in the sports accessory market. Many experts believe this is due to the considerable number of athletes in professional sports, as well as the high interest of fans in the region.

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Sporting accessories list

Pads

Helmets

Nets

Sweatbands

Smart wear

Resistance bands

Rope

Water bottles

Goggles and glasses

Boxing bags

 

Sporting Clothing

Sportswear clothing is divided into team sportswear, activewear or anything related to sport and physical exercise. Sport-specific clothing is worn for most sports and physical exercise, for practicality and comfort. Specific garments include tracksuits, shorts, t-shirts, shoes, and polo shirts. The largest global consumer market sportswear/activewear is the United States, expected to generate more than 95 billion USD a year.

Sporting clothing list

Shirts

Pants

Shoes and boots

Tracksuits

Gloves

Swimsuits

Leotards

Jockstrap

Sports bras

 

Sporting goods customer demographics

There are many advantages for customers shopping online rather than being in a store. There is no hassle from the sales staff, or walking around to find your item, and most importantly no waiting in line. Convenience is always king for customers, and with shopping online being more popular than ever, these behaviours are driving the industry. It’s important for companies to understand their target market and key trending data reshaping the industry.

For example, Gen Z is more health and fitness-oriented than boomers, while millennials are somewhere in the middle. Millennials and Gen Z are also more tech-minded and therefore tend to shop online more. These demographics that have new expectations around convenience and delivery are trending online sales today. An increased focus on these market demographics will ensure a consistent sales cycle for sporting goods online businesses.

 

Sporting goods trends 2022

Staying on top of the latest trends and evolving marketplace ensures brand resiliency and competitiveness in new business landscapes. The latest sporting goods trends revolve around buying changes, digitalisation, and influence.

Social channel influencers

Professional athletes are more popular on social channels than traditional clubs, leagues, and brands. Christiano Ronaldo for example, has 395 million followers on Instagram while his endorser Nike has 197 million. Still a substantial portion for Nike, but this emphasizes the personal relationship for consumers to personal sports icons, and brand identity. Social selling for brands comes better with the younger demographic on these channels.

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54% of consumers use social media channels to research products. As you can see, social media keeps proving its effectiveness in digital ecosystems fostering more engagement and sales.

 

Sporting goods online

It is obvious that the future is in the digital marketplace. Even after stores reopened industry leaders were still shifting and improving their direct-to-consumer (DTC) models. The omnichannel approach is sensible as customers buy from stores, but also online. Plus, with the back and forth of random lockdowns, the state of brick n mortar presence is still in flux. Not having a strong online presence and not finding new DTC models is a major mistake.

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This is why third-party logistics increased in record numbers since the start of the Covid crisis, strengthening the DTC approach for brands.

 

Athleisurewear

The definition of athleisurewear is activewear. From fitness pants to sports bras and shoes for specific physical activity, this industry is #winning. A True Fit Fashion Genome report confirms that athleisurewear saw an 84% increase since 2020 in the U.K. alone. From April 2020 to December 2020 women’s athleisurewear bottoms increased 5x! Even Target, the American retail outlet reached 1 billion USD for its activewear products in 2021.

Athleisurewear is not only comfortable to wear around the house, but it’s all-day wear whether you’re cooking or running. Customers always tend to choose brands that fit their lifestyle, and the wellness industry has clearly shown health and fitness are a top priority for more customers today. This is why athleisurewear in 2022 will be growing exponentially.

 

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Sporting goods supply

There was a 7 –10x increase in shipping prices in 2021 due to demand and supply chain inefficiency. From declining production to the HGV driver shortage it’s been a shaky time for logistics and retail. The costs of raw materials also skyrocketed – forcing more businesses to start cutting operational costs to make up the difference. More companies are now using alternative means to improve their supply chains, from 3pl’s to manufacturers.

Being prepared for future volatility in supply chain affairs is a good way to future-proof your business. Using eCommerce warehouses and outsourcing fulfilment is one of the best ways to prevent losing future earnings and overcoming fluctuating prices.

Sporting goods returns

In the sporting goods industry, clothing is the largest segment for customer returns. According to Royal Mail last year, 61% of online shoppers returned clothing, and 35% returned footwear.” With more consumers exploring online shopping this is a natural occurrence bound to happen, especially in online retail clothing. This greatly impacts company profits, further exploiting the weakness in digital commerce.

Though most business owners say that dealing with returns negatively impacts their businesses daily, it’s actually an opportunity. A solid returns policy with no charge to the customer and added convenience will win future business. Returning online parcels doesn’t have to be a hassle for you or your customers. sporting clothing returns, sports goods returns, sporting equipment returns, ecommerce returns, parcel returns,

Selazar for instance handles returns and does quality checks on all returned items, then adds back to the original stock for immediate resale. Their Return Robin integration even allows parcels to be returned online from home. This has implications to help medium and enterprise-level companies save thousands a year in storage and employee costs.

You can actually save money and increase customer retention, winning future business. Remember that 58% of customers want a hassle-free “no questions asked” return policy.

 

Higher fulfilment standards for sporting goods

Today’s consumer has new standards for everything, including fulfilment standards. Same day dispatch and next delivery are more preferred to today’s consumers. Only 32% of consumers are willing to wait 2 – 3 days for their deliveries nowadays.

This is a critical customer touchpoint as well as a competitive advantage. Speed matters to today’s consumers. If you’re not offering the best in online fulfilment solutions for B2C or B2B your competitors will gain an advantage over you. The Baymard Institute found that long shipping times account for 70% of abandoned carts online.

18 billion in eCommerce revenue is lost each year due to cart abandonment.

Ethical Sustainability

Lastly, as we recently discussed in our article on jewellery trends, ethical sustainability is a wide-ranging issue affecting every industry. Today’s buyer is more caring about climate change and ethical practices for brands. This means using more sustainable materials and ethical sourcing.

People’s awareness around this today is non-negotiable. 87% of consumers want brands to encourage future sustainability. Those industry leaders that are transparent in their practices will gain more market share while also fostering a more positive and caring environment for the planet.

Sporting goods market conclusion

There are many factors to successful online selling in the sporting goods market today. Authenticity counts now that people have greater access to brands. Cultivating a strong brand story with ethical practices using all digital channels available to you count. Make sure you have quick delivery and a strong return policy. The leaders who will thrive not only understand the customer journey, but the customer wants and lifestyles. Developing brand loyalty creates that long-term relationship and business prosperity.

Should you need any help automating quick delivery and eCommerce warehousing schedule a free call with us today. No hassle. Save money and save time. We would love to hear about your business goals today.

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Ambient Foods: 2022 market, trends, & delivery

The ambient food market is a thriving industry to pay attention to. This particular sub-sector of the food industry is a multi-billion market in itself. I want to discuss this retail division and provide various critical insights around online shopping trends, packaging & storing, and delivery. By the end, you will have a clear understanding of the ambient food marketplace in 2022 and how businesses can better serve it and their customers.

Table of contents

1) What are Ambient foods

2) Ambient Foods Marketplace

3) Ambient food trends

4) Ambient food storage

5) Ambient food online delivery

6) Ambient foods conclusion

 

What are Ambient foods?

The ambient food definition means “items that can typically be safely stored at room temperature.” They are associated with lots of dry food but also wet tinned and glass items. They have a longer shelf life. This includes everything from tea and coffee to canned vegetables, fruits, and soups. There is even ambient meat which is specifically designed to last for longer periods of time. Below are more examples of ambient foods.

Ambient foods list

Pasta and rice

Breads and cereals

Canned fruit

Canned fish and meat

Sauces and condiments

Canned vegetables

Biscuits and cakes

Cake mixes

Tea and coffee

Cured Meats

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Ambient food suppliers such as Lovering Foods or Queenswood typically tend to work directly with retail stores and brick and mortar. However, the increased digital boom of eCommerce during the pandemic is encouraging more suppliers to expand their online presence. The chief executive of Ugly Drinks said:

“We are aware of changing buying behaviours and know that consumers like to try and discover products through multiple channels, whether that’s direct-to-consumer online, or the local supermarket.”

Omnichannel fulfilment means we may be seeing more ambient food suppliers working directly with 3pl’s in 2022 to expand their offerings to consumers. Focusing on multiple channels encourages more convenient options for buyers while increasing market share for suppliers.

Ambient Foods Marketplace

The ambient food marketplace is currently valued at 239 billion and is expected to grow to 361 billion by 2025. The annual growth rate (CAGR) over the last year has been 11%, a substantial uptick for the industry. Recovering from the covid-19 pandemic more companies rearranged their operations to better serve their customers as online retail became the new normal.

Most popular ambient food retail regions

In the global market, western Europe is by far the largest ambient food buyer, accounting for 32% of the market. Asia-Pacific is the second-largest making up 27% of the market.

 

Ambient food trends

The latest ambient food trends differ in categories from health and wellbeing to eco-friendly and customer preference.

Pesticide-free organic fruits and vegetables

food trends, food trends 2021, food trends 2021 uk, food trends 2022, food trends uk, pesticide free food, As more customers take a healthier approach to their lives in 2022, ambient food suppliers should be paying attention to this important trend. Naturally sourced fruits and vegetables without fertilizers and pesticides are safer and preferred more today than previous years. Pesticides may not always wash off but absorb into the skin of the fruits and vegetables, so they have potentially harmful effects. Recent surveys show 90 – 95% of consumers want organic or healthier food options.

Sustainable packaging

Not only are more suppliers moving to more natural food sourcing but natural sustainable packaging. It is helpful to the environment and preferred by more customers today. In fact, 74% of consumers would pay more for sustainable packaging. Moving away from plastic packaging to drive pollution down keeps companies more accountable as well as appealing to buyers. Flexible packaging options are being explored more with businesses as they are more aware of this trend, along with “clean label” eco-branding.

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As an eco-friendly 3pl, Selazar uses only plastic-free alternatives for packaging such as corrugated cardboard, gummed tape, and recycled paper. If your business works with a third-party logistics provider, you want to solidify similar brand values for you and your customers.

Plant-based products

The vegan society says that an astonishing 7 million British adults follow a meat-free diet. This number has increased 40% over the last year. In America, the number of vegans have increased by 3,000% in the last 15 years, at approximately 10 million adults now. Many experts project numbers of vegans to increase globally in 2022.

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Customer preference & convenience

Shoppers are always looking for products that make cooking easier and more convenient. For example, offering food in jars that are pre-chopped saves time. Pre-chopped Garlic or dehydrated garlic powder for example is one of these examples that makes life a bit easier for consumers in the kitchen. Prominent manufacturers are experimenting with multiple garlic formats – including paste, powder and fresh forms. These customer preferences are spurring countless product innovations, broadening overall market growth.

The same goes for pre-chopped tomatoes, mushrooms, and fruit. These time-saving commodities improve buyer experience and convenience. Manufacturing more goods with this in mind for suppliers is a smart trend to pay attention to more in 2022.

Ambient food storage

A great benefit about ambient food storage is the lack of power costs associated with it, unlike refrigerated items. Whether suppliers store ambient food within their own facilities or retail warehouses, having a longer shelf life provides them various no hassle options.

Ambient temperature food storage

Ambient food storage tends to be between 15 to 25 C or 59 – 77 F. Ambient just means normal storage conditions or store at room temperature. You tend to see these labels on products with storage requirements saying “ambient.” You will also see them on pharmaceutical products.

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Ambient food storage warehouse

One of the largest costs for suppliers, distributors, and brick and mortar include ambient food storage warehouse costs. Having a warehouse requires shelving, power, and staff to run a typical warehouse facility.

Finding more ways to cut these costs and even outsource to e-commerce warehouses that store and deliver goods would provide a financial benefit for many suppliers and stores. Streamlining operations to focus on more aspects of your business is always a smart business practice. Thinking of the cost-benefit ratio in relation to the rise of online shopping, it would be logically cost-effective to implement more third-party logistics for ambient food storage moving forward.

Ambient food delivery online

Obviously, there were massive changes in online shopping behaviours during the Covid-19 lockdown. Ambient food shopping online was already popular over the last 5 years thanks to many popular food delivery apps and grocery stores going online, but the pandemic categorically surged this behaviour.

This had an immediate effect on the logistics network as it worked to enable faster and cheaper delivery for customers. Undercutting competitive costs was a key focus for suppliers and retailers, even though the costs of hiring and training more drivers increased their operational expenses. Conveniently enough though it encouraged more flexible low-cost options for consumers.

UK food delivery alone online went from a 2.6 billion industry in 2015 to 5.9 billion in 2020. US food delivery is also expected to go from 26 billion in 2020 to 42 billion in 2025.

The online shopping trend is going to keep increasing and will sufficiently place more pressure on companies to reduce their operating costs and lower delivery costs for consumers. A downstream effect will also be manufacturers catering to the needs of online sellers more with innovative packaging and products. What will the next evolution of the tin of chopped tomatoes be? How will food production be tailored more and more to the online market? This is where the future leads for this space.

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Ambient foods market conclusion

The ambient foods market landscape is going through some significant changes from previous years and will maintain its robust growth cycle. With more natural eco-conscious value-centred principles for buyers, it would behove suppliers and retailers to pay attention to these trends. Working to cut expenditures to benefit customers and be more competitive in the online marketplace will be a major advantage for your business. Should you be interested in outsourcing your ambient food storage and delivery, schedule a no-obligation free business call with us.

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Jewellery Trends: 2022 Jewellery market and customer focused service

In this article, I’m taking a deep dive into the jewellery market in 2022. I want to present an overview of the jewellery industry, jewellery trends, identifying key drivers and opportunities, while also inspecting the challenges and customer-focused service. I want to help you understand this popular industry with critical statistical data.

From manufacturing to ethical mining and niche opportunities I will provide key information to know what’s affecting this industry. This way you can make more informed decisions for your own eCommerce store regarding attracting customers, understanding pain points, identifying your target market, and uncovering sales possibilities. Plus, we will be focusing on customer service touchpoints to deliver the best service for your base.

 

Table of contents

1)  Global Jewellery market

2) Jewellery trends

3) Jewellery marketing

4) Jewellery niche competition

5) Customer-focused service

6) Jewellery market conclusion

 

The global Jewellery market

Due to the lockdown and brick and mortar closures, the global jewellery industry fell by 33% in 2020. Gold, silver, and diamonds saw large drops in supply during this time, and the 2021 HGV driver shortage exacerbated the problem even further. Trade shows and large events were also completely cancelled.

However, the online market for jewellery managed to make a late quarter comeback in 2021 and was valued at approximately 60 billion. Thanks to a lot of free time to think and ponder new possibilities of life during the current crisis, many experts believe covid encouraged more people to get marriedthus increasing sales in the global jewellery industry. Many couples that were due to be married in 2020/21 even decided to put the savings into upgrading their rings instead.

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Looking forward, 2022 eCommerce Jewellery sales are stable again. Global supply issues are improving, and pandemic shopping behaviours remain consistent. The increased comfortability with making jewellery purchases online carries on, even high-ticket purchases. The push towards an online focus made many jewellery retailers consider new innovative options towards marketing their products – and they’re benefiting from it.

“An oracle survey revealed 47% of sellers recognise that sales strategies involving smartphones have increased the value of their average user’s shopping basket.”

Since customers can’t physically hold the products, they innovated and acquired AR technology to better showcase their items on a phone, desktop, or tablet. More brands have gotten social as well – attracting more customers from all ages and backgrounds that they may not have acquired within typical brick-and-mortar retail. It’s reasonable to assume a new age of technology combined with modern online shopping behaviours changed the future of the jewellery industry forever. Not only that, but new markets are emerging and it’s an exciting time.

 

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Jewellery trends

The jewellery industry consists of hundreds of thousands of items from necklaces to rings, bracelets to watches, earrings, brooches and others. Whether for themselves or a gift for a loved one or friend, jewellery historically has a lot of significance to it for various reasons. They help demonstrate significance, love, friendship, celebration and more. It’s about values as well as eye-catching wearable aesthetics and a dynamic form of self-expression. The latest trends in the jewellery market are not only expanding demographically but socially.

For example, though women historically have always been the largest customers and purveyors of fine jewellery, one of the biggest contemporary trends is more men embracing jewellery purchases.

 

Men’s jewellery trends

Over the past couple of years, there has been a major trend in men’s jewellery. Generation Z and millennials are quickly becoming the focus for retailers and brands. Lots of notable collections feature gender-fluid designs that add to a non-binary approach to fashion. In a more gender-neutral society brands are quickly expanding their demographics.

This cultural shift is booming sales. Global sales of men’s luxury fine jewellery reached 5.3 billion just a few years ago, an increase of 22% from the year prior. More men seem to be focusing on decorative rings, bracelets, necklaces, and earrings. Luxury jewellery seems to be more vehicles of self-expression today with very unique pieces. It’s even attracting celebrity attention. Notable celebrities like Jaden Smith and Harry Styles publicly display their new genderfluid “bling” with rings and earrings and endorse these product designs, creating a trend that is sure to expand even further in 2022.

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image from Bloom Boutique

Jewellery customisation

Customised jewellery is any piece that has a unique design to it with a single customer in mind. Customised jewellery is unique with a one-of-a-kind gift relationship. Whether for personal use or a gift, there is a collaboration aspect to this. Now there is a process online with retailers where customers can design their own jewellery online. This popular trend was valued at 32.9 billion in 2019 and is estimated to reach 59.7 billion by 2027.

Customised jewellery uses fewer precious materials, unlike golds and diamonds or gems. They focus on using materials such as: Glass, plastic, semi-precious stones, beads, leather, and aluminium. Because of the low cost to produce these trending items and materials they are quicker to market and popular, incentivizing more frugal customers in the jewellery industry. The most popular custom jewellery is necklaces, chains, and bracelets, which held 41% in the global jewellery market just two years ago.

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Demi-fine Jewellery

Demi-Fine Jewellery is just a category below fine Jewellery in terms of materials used. Much of it uses cheaper crafted designs with gold plated silver. It’s jewellery created with precious metals and vermeil plating (a thick plating of gold on top of a silver base). It bridges the gap between high-street jewellery and everything else. Jewellery for casual everyday use should not have to be as expensive as a pure gold product, so manufacturers and retailers are using this popular method. It’s good for retailers and it’s good for customers for less expensive options.

The Demi-fine jewellery market was 16% CAGR in 2021. Experts say this percentage will most likely increase in 2022. Popular companies with Demi-fine Jewellery include Missoma, Otiumberg, Astley Clarke, and Felt London.

 

Ethical and sustainable production

The pandemic had disastrous effects on workers and communities worldwide in the mining sector. Global distribution within various small to medium mining operations were forced to cut staff and hire more child labour in some morally inept regions. This has shined a light again on unethical mining practices around the world. Illegal gold mining in Africa and Latin America threatens the environment and human rights protections, forcing more government monitoring and enforcement. Gold mining is also having devastating effects on deforestation in the Amazon. Companies like NameScan help legitimize more mining operations today around the world, holding illegal operations and criminals accountable for violating laws in their country.

In a survey of 15 major jewellery companies, Human Rights Watch found few had taken concrete steps to protect workers’ rights or abuses worldwide due to the pandemic.

“A recent study concluded that over 80% of customers want conflict-free environmentally friendly safe jewellery. “More transparency with safe practices will ensure more companies will benefit from this today than decades before. Expanding your customer targeting within the eco-conscious human rights space would actually benefit retailers.

Today is a chance for jewellery brands to redefine the narrative of an industry that has faced scrutiny for its impact on both the environment and the welfare of the workers that make it work.

 

Jewellery trends | Jewellery Marketing

Recent world events combined with the explosion of technology has adapted the way jewellery retailers have reached new audiences. Let’s discuss these very important trends.

 

AR technology

jewellery marketing, jewellery trends, jewellery augmented reality, Brick and mortar sales have always been the jewellery industry’s bread and butter for decades. With many high-ticket items for sale, it was critical for consumers to see, touch and feel those products. If it was a ring, they wanted to know what it would look like up close, especially for something that will last a lifetime. The same goes for other long-term jewellery items such as necklaces or watches. It’s a very tactile field, always has been. Therefore, with online commerce growing steadily year after year it was a natural evolution to expand the possibilities of interaction from home, bringing that old fashioned “sense” feeling back. That’s where AR technology has largely come into play.

A report by Retail Perceptions has concluded that buyers would like to use AR technology to help them make purchase decisions. This sensory technology can show you precisely what any piece of jewellery will look like on you – from necklaces to rings to watches and earrings. All you need to do is simply hold up a camera to your face on any smartphone, laptop, or desktop computer, and the technology does the rest. Pretty neat!

Revolutionary jewellery brands such as Tanishq, De Beers, and Kalyan Jewellers have embraced this technology, raising the standard for eCommerce jewellery sales and customer retention. Do you have AR yet for your products?

Jewellery Selling

Selling jewellery online is already a saturated market. More brands are now understanding and embracing the power of social media influence for eCommerce sales. Also known as “social selling,” it is jewellery marketing, jewellery selling, selling jewellery online, selling jewellery online uk, selling jewellery london, selling jewellery uk,social selling, the logical way in 2022 to put their products in front of target audiences with the likes of Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram. Missoma for example targets women in their 20’s and 30’s.

They have used a robust influencer strategy for years to consistently sell out products and even attract a celebrity following making them one of the most popular brands in the market. More brands will be embracing this strategy further in 2022.

 

Jewellery niche competition

There are thousands of niches in the jewellery market. Sometimes the best way to serve a market is to create your own one. This is one of the many reasons customised jewellery trends are on the rise and more retailers are embracing this strategy. Looking beyond the run of the mill standard jewellery to something more eye-catching and unique can delight regular fans of fine jewellery. Recreating high-cost pieces with similar (but cheaper) Demi-fine pieces is also another way retailers are cleaning house and crushing the market.

In the customisation market though, higher prices can also be achieved because of the value placed on the “uniqueness.” Just like special diamonds or gems, unique sells. There are various trends that are quickly showing its commercial success. Here are 5 examples.

1) Religious Jewellery incorporating specific faith

2) School spirit jewellery with school colours

3) Birthstone jewellery

4) Body Jewellery

5) Butterfly Jewellery

When you get into the minds of your ideal customer you create a more personal relationship that cuts ties with the popular yet classically standard fine jewellery pieces. Less high end but chic and less expensive are proving commercially successful in 2022.

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Bloom Boutique Birthstone Friendship Set

Customer-focused service

An obsession with the customer is paramount to any successful business. Important channels to focus on include customer service, but easily overlooked are also delivery time and ease of returns.

Jewellery Returns

An important touchpoint in jewellery industry trends is dealing with large amounts of returns. Jewellery and luxury products are the second most returned item next to clothing and accessories, a whopping 30.7%!

A solid return process is critical as well as a solid jewellery returns policy. A Pulse online shopper survey revealed 68% of shoppers view returns policies before making a purchase. On top of that, it affects business operations daily, burning away money that could be better spent in other areas. 57% of retailers also say dealing with returns has a negative impact on their day-to-day business.

By far the most convenient way is for customers to return items is from the convenience of their homes, as offered by Return robin. Customers receive packages from home, so why shouldn’t they be able to return items from home? This trend is sure to attract more attention in 2022 and could be your seller’s advantage.

 

Delivery speed

Another focus is the speed of delivery. Increasing dispatch speed for 3pls is critical to customer happiness as well as a competitive advantage. Next day delivery and 24-hour delivery matter in a new age of technology and efficiency. 26% of online shoppers abandon carts due to long delivery times. Making sure you work with a tech-first third-party logistics provider ensures quick and efficient deliveries. Slow deliveries will only harm your brand.

 

Inventory management

Running your own medium or enterprise-level online business comes with its challenges, including storage. Warehouse storage and accurate inventory management are critical to dispatch speed and customer retention. Mismanaging products can lead to delays in getting products out to customers, reflecting badly on your business. 34 percent of businesses have shipped an order late because they inadvertently sold a product that was not in stock. Hiring a dedicated 3pl company can help more medium to large businesses stay ahead of this issue.

 

Jewellery trends and jewellery market conclusion

Things are looking up for the jewellery industry. Certainly, embracing modern technology to change the customer experience both in-store and at home are critical today. Getting more creative and focusing on eco-conscious lifestyle minded consumers can benefit your brand. The rise of more men embracing fine jewellery shows us that the market is clearly in a new stage of growth and trending. 2022 will be a big year for the online Jewellery marketplace. Should you want to expand your services to the next level with jewellery next day delivery and returns, contact Selazar today.

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Wellness Industry 2022: Pandemic boosts self-care product sales

After 2 years of the pandemic, physical and mental health have gained more traction as we face isolation and sickness. Overall, health has broadened and matters to more people globally as self-care has become a major priority. With more people experiencing mental health issues it’s no longer viewed as a somewhat fringe experience. Social distancing has facilitated the self-care psychosis even further.

More people in 2022 are reflecting and planning for a healthier, more vibrant year. From improving mental health to gut health and monitoring our stress levels, the wellness industry is primed for increased profitability in the new year. Whether nutrition or mindfulness or fitness, more eCommerce companies are preparing to grow their sales within this popular space.

 

Table of contents

1) Wellness industry outlook 2022

2) Wellness trends

3) Wellness product trends

4) Wellness industry customer targeting

5) Wellness industry conclusion 2022

 

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The wellness economy

Wellness industry outlook 2022

Also known as “the wellness economy” the wellness industry definition refers to any products around physical and mental health. This includes products for fitness, nutrition, sleep & general well-being. If it improves our bodies or our minds in some way, it’s the wellness industry.

The steady growth of the wellness economy has now increased its global market value to approximately 4.4 trillion – with an annual growth rate of 5 to 10 percent in recent years. The U.S. has the biggest health and wellness market, valued at 52.5 billion, while China comes in second at 19.9 billion, and Australia 3rd (9.5 billion). The UK is still at a whopping 9 billion and Germany at 6.4 billion.

A new study has shown the pandemic has enticed more Europeans to adopt new everyday healthy habits, with 65% of people more likely to consider their health in day-to-day decision making. This includes making decisions within various different wellness sectors. Over the last year, some sectors grew while others diminished.

Mental health products such as “sense spaces” and sleep grew 12.4% while meditation and mindfulness grew an astounding 25%. Healthy eating and nutrition for weight loss maintained positive growth at 3.6% while workplace wellness investments shrank 7%.

 

Wellness trends

In 2021 the Global Wellness Institute (GWI) released the much-anticipated wellness report. It’s known as “The Global Wellness Economy: Looking Beyond Covid.” This report reveals a snapshot of consumer behaviour and important trends that lead to greater public health.

To know the top wellness trends, we need to know the most popular wellness divisions. The six most popular include:

1) Health – Not only supplements and medicine but also includes medical devices and health trackers.
2) Fitness – At home exercise equipment and VR inspired technology.
3) Nutrition – Apps, diet programs, and subscription food services.
4) Appearance – Apparel and beauty products like skincare and collagen supplements.
5) Sleep – Medications, app-supported sleep trackers, and other sleep-enhancing products.
6) Mindfulness – Apps, meditation & yoga products.

Below is a spending report of the top countries for the wellness industry within the 6 primary categories shown above. As you can see health remains the most crucial aspect while appearance and fitness follow next.

It’s important to note values are always attached to spending habits. Various countries prioritize certain aspects of the wellness industry over others. For example, Germany emphasizes fitness more than the UK. The UK emphasizes nutrition more whereas the United States emphasizes mindfulness. It’s important to monitor your own market for the best customer targeting sales methods.

 

Wellness product trends

These trends will help shape the 2022 health and wellness market. They include wellness wearables, fitness VR, gut health, immunity and active lifestyle products.

Wellness wearables

Tracking our fitness and health levels are popular with wearable devices and will continue to grow its market share. Popular items like Fitbit and Apple Smartwatch allow you to monitor your heart rate, keep track of physical activity, and monitor your sleep patterns. New watches are even able to track your stress levels.

Smartwatches can now monitor your mental health by reading cortisol levels. Sensors like this are relatively new and will surely entice customers who appreciate self-care and measuring health levels. This trend is likely to rise in popularity and be adapted with numerous smartwatch carriers.

Fitness games/VR

With more and more consumers embracing physical fitness from home, they are seeking more fun ways to get healthy. Gaming techniques for people naturally increase someone’s desire to push themselves into fitness. Virtual reality fitness or VR fitness is using cutting edge immersive technology to create exercise environments from Boxing to Yoga and jogging. Popular VR carriers have been seeing large upticks in sales.

Gut health

What we eat matters and that means improving our gut health is now an everyday activity for many. In fact, there has been a recent 83% surge in Google searches for “gut health.” The research has shown that more people are eating less meat (34% of people in fact), inspiring a new term known as “reducetarian.“ This finding proposes that products manufactured with plant-based nutrition will see significant increases in 2022.

Immunity improvement

A survey of 16,000 adults found that they are focused on their immune system. They broadened their definition of wellness to include intellectual wellness, sexual wellness, facial exercises, animals and music. 65% confirmed they are doing more to actively improve their immune system such as through vitamins, botanicals, and making better food choices.

pandemic boosts health trends, pandemic boosting health and wellness, wellness industry improving post pandemic, Having a better level of mental health will also boost your immune system, as confirmed by numerous health experts, including Dr Hannah Reidy of Mind HK. Vitamins and health supplements will continue to sell well along with any other product channels that associate with improving the brain-body immunity connection.

Active lifestyle

With a more health-conscious global market, the wellness economy will continue to grow and improve upon currently active lifestyle trends. From fashion to wireless headphones to apparel, it seems more and more consumers are joining the active lifestyle revolution than ever before in 2022.

 

“Our research shows the extent to which the pandemic has impacted attitudes towards personal wellbeing and self-care, and it’s encouraging to see the increased importance that many people are now placing on looking after their own and others’ health.”

-Filippo Lanzi, Regional Head, EMEA GSK Consumer Healthcare

 

Wellness industry customer targeting

Executives predict that consumers will seek more control and personalisation in wellness products and services in 2022. They value products that make their daily lives better with real-time data. From fitness trackers to healthier workplace-inspired products more customers want more overall wellness lifestyle options. They also like social channels that help influence their lives and largely trust brands that are active on social media. Social selling has become very popular within the last few years with influencers staggeringly garnering customer loyalty and retention.

Customers will associate their health and wellness lifestyle with brands they like and trust. Buying trusted brands is more important to people in all countries with 82% of respondents saying products must be scientifically proven.

Socially conscious

More customers embracing healthy and organic lifestyles facilitates more clean-living standards in other areas as well. This means the target audience for the wellness economy is interested in not only socially conscious products but socially conscious companies. While people are assessing the benefits of plant-based eating for human health their natural pull is also environmental, ignoring further dangerous chemicals and toxins. Dr Alsona Pulde says “in 2022 we’ll become more mindful of what we consume and its impact on the planet.”

“87% of consumers want brands to act now to encourage future sustainability.“

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Food creates 20 – 30% of all global carbon emissions, with a large portion of that being animal food consumption. The transition to more plant-based foods can decrease greenhouse gas emissions by up to 70% by 2050. A diet known as the “climatarian” diet which focuses on plant-based foods can reduce the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, autoimmune diseases, and obesity. Though good pricing will always matter to consumers, more people are keen to natural sustainability in 2022 and are making significant changes to their lives, and shopping behaviours. They will seek brands that are more natural and globally conscious.

A study from North America, Asia, Europe, and the United Kingdom also confirmed that customers want Eco-friendly packaging. More than 80% of participants felt that “it was important or extremely important for companies to design environmentally conscious products.” Knowing this matters when you work with a 3pl like Selazar that uses eco-friendly packaging.

 

Wellness industry conclusion 2022

The health and wellness industry is looking promising in 2022 as more customers embrace self-care retail. Due to the pandemic, more eCommerce retailers can expect strong sales as more shoppers have increased trust in shopping online. UK’s top 100 retailers said, on average, their online traffic increased 52% during the pandemic. It’s the golden age of shopping from home today. It’s important that companies are digitally focused. The use of smartphones alone for online shopping has more than doubled since 2018.

So, embrace new channels to reach your target audiences, relay a lifestyle-focused brand as well as a socially conscious one, and be aware of the latest trends for what your customers are seeking in 2022. Lastly, also remember that next day delivery matters. Working with a reputable logistics company that allows you to control your own branding and offers swift final mile delivery matters for customer happiness and repeat sales. Happy selling.

 

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Selazar secures £20 million investment to expand globally

Lots of big changes happened over the last 18 months within the logistics industry. The pandemic created a surge in online shopping in 2020. Though online retail was already popular with many demographics all over the worldthe dynamic new environment highlighted the strategic importance of online delivery within new market segments. Those who may have had prior misgivings about ordering online suddenly had no other option and as a result, quickly got hooked to the benefits of home delivery. With increased demand sales soared, and more eCommerce businesses and retailers needed immediate logistics solutions. This allowed already growing companies like Selazar to thrive even more. A new capital injection will see Selazar quadruple headcount, expand into new territories and offer additional eCommerce fulfilment technology and services to customers. 

 

Table of contents

  1. The Selazar approach

  2. Selazars funding announcement

  3. The future of Selazar operations

  4. Selazar financial services

  5. Smart scalable fulfilment service

 

The Selazar approach

Selazars’ approach to logistics and warehousing helped many companies grow consistently during the pandemic. The UN trade and development experts at UNCTAD reported an increase from 16% to 19% in 2020 for eCommerce sales, a jump to 26.7 trillion.

Selazar has always helped eCommerce businesses to take a methodical approach to grow their businesses quickly and will continue to do so. Outsourcing rapid delivery options to customers are easier than ever through our tech platform, helping companies meet the demands of same day despatch and next day delivery. Selazar has a large roster of clients from fashion to health and beauty, sporting goods, and more – and this new investment in Selazar will see our services improve with more tailored support, smart technology, and worldwide distribution.  

This investment represents the opportunity to turbocharge the Selazar business. Our existing investment providers, to whom we are grateful, have allowed us to build out the platform and to create a robust market position. This new investment will allow us to move into new markets – both in geographic and product terms which we will announce in due course. We are hugely excited to be embarking upon the next phase in the building of a world-class eCommerce service business,” says Selazar Chairman Neil Ashworth. 

Selazars funding announcement

Selazars funding includes a £20 million growth investment that significantly impacts the company’s valuation. The new capital injection adds to an initial investment from Foresight Group, Invest Northern Ireland and angel investors. These financial firms believe in the Selazar vision and will facilitate numerous initiatives over the coming months – such as global warehousing. Offering more warehouses and distribution overseas increases the advantage to current and future clients.  

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The future of Selazar operations

Selazar has physical warehouse space in the UK but will now be quickly extending its distribution network globally into Europe, the US, and Latin America. This includes new warehouses in Ireland and the Netherlands, followed by four additional warehouses in the United States and one each in Mexico and Colombia. Our courier network already delivers internationally, but the new spaces expanding globally will help more businesses of all sizes in various countries house and deliver products quicker and more efficiently to their customers. 

Selazar stores and delivers stock for a large roster of medium to large-sized businesses. Many notable retailers that rely on or have relied on Selazar’s services include Debenhams and UpCircle. Whereas these great businesses work to create great products for customers, we help them to increase customer retention with speedy and efficient final mile delivery options. The recent investment will help Selazar cater to larger clients like these with more diverse warehousing options and increased storage space. 

Selazar financial services

One of the reasons we will be quadrupling our staff is also to offer new financial services for our customers. Merging logistics and financial services offers exciting new opportunities for growing businesses. We have been on a solid growth trajectory since 2019 and believe that our platform is key to serving medium to enterprise-sized retailers. Now with new financing options for our base of partners, we are innovating a full 360 solution for growing businesses. 

 

Smart scalable fulfilment service

Logistics is an ever-evolving landscape, seeing dramatic changes in the last two decades alone. Though good old-fashioned hard work and great customer service will always be a cornerstone of Selazar, marrying convenient solutions for online retailers with superior digital technology is a key focus that differentiates Selazar from traditional 3pl models. Within just a few years of Selazar’s smart approach to logistics, we have quickly disrupted the market.  

This financial backing will be foundational to bringing on more employees to serve more clients as well as integrating more robust technology and continuing to innovate through our already agile and dynamic portal. As a result of our expansion to an international eCommerce fulfilment company, customers will be able to transfer stock between international warehouses. The has the potential to ease some of the pain that has resulted from Brexit, as it will simplify processes and reduce costs, which is currently a friction point for larger businesses. 

Inspired by the future and predicting the looming eCommerce explosion Selazar has strategically placed itself in a unique position to serve eCommerce retailers requirements all over the world. Every day we spring into action with our unique approach towards creating online business solutions and consumer convenience options. We are grateful to our previous investors and all of our partners for our amazing success to date.  

Selazar and it’s investors are committed to growing sustainable and socially equitable businesses that have a tangible impact on the lives of its partners, employees, and communities. The weight of this new investment will sustain our global growth plans well into the future.

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Brexit Update: July 1st Vat Changes and IOSS

This new Brexit update on July 1st deals mostly with Vat Changes and the new IOSS system. However, we will also be discussing distance selling thresholds, customs changes, and the low-consignment fee eradication.

 

Table of contents

1) Brexit update July 1st: Do you know what they are?

2) Brexit update for distance selling thresholds in EU to single uniform threshold

3) Introduction of the OSS (One-Stop-Shop) Filing

4) Removing the low-value import VAT exemption

5)  Brexit update for OSS and IOSS

6) Online marketplaces deemed the seller for collecting and reporting VAT

7) Customs declarations are now required for all consignments

8) What is the overall impact on eCommerce with the new July 1st Brexit update?

9) Brexit update checklist for July 1st

 

Earlier this year we published an article highlighting the Brexit changes named understanding the Brexit consequences for UK eCommerce. These changes happened on January 1st of 2021 confirming the end of the Brexit transition period. In the article, we pointed out some of the key changes such as customs declarations, EORI numbers, Brexit vat changes, and VAT MOSS changes. That was the first stage of the Brexit changes. However, there is another stage of the agreed-upon Brexit Deal that will again affect these changes. Changes on changes, not confusing at all, right? I will do my best to outline them as clear as possible for you to understand the July 1st Brexit update.

Though the UK is no longer a part of the European Union, business to and from the EU remains fluid, so knowing the new rules matters. The July 1st Brexit changes will affect retailers, marketplaces, and courier companies in the UK, EU, and abroad.

The changes also offer a good variety of VAT reforms and changes to the governance of distance selling goods for B2C services. If you’re an eCommerce business, the changes are a positive benefit for streamlining VAT transactions across borders. I will explain to you the step-by-step process for registering for the new OSS system.

You want to make sure you’re staying up to do date with these changes and decide how they will affect your business. You must consider the VAT rates, the One-Stop-Shop, as well as how and what you will be charging.

 

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There are five major changes that I will be discussing. Those are

1) Removing distance selling thresholds for multiple EU countries for a single blanket threshold

2) Introduction of the OSS (One-Stop-Shop) Filing

3) Removing the low-value import VAT exemption and introducing the new IOSS

4) Online marketplaces deemed the seller for collecting and reporting VAT

5) Customs declarations are now required for all consignments

 

Brexit update for distance selling thresholds in EU to a single uniform threshold

The term distance selling as it applies to eCommerce means selling across borders. With the implementation of Brexit changes to selling online, we discuss some of those distance selling requirements in our article distance selling regulations and UK online selling.

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When Brexit happened, and as it currently is, VAT selling thresholds vary for each European country. Now, moving forward, after July 1st, individual EU country thresholds will be removed.

Now, a single threshold will apply for the entire 27 EU member states.

The single unified threshold will remain uniform across EU member states and is €10,000 (£8,818 approximately). This accounts for all sales cross borders in the EU.

 

This threshold also applies to Northern Ireland, which is still a part of the European Union under the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The VAT thresholds set by each country previously have caused some administrative burdens for sellers and governmental organisations. This new unified VAT threshold will simplify the process of VAT reporting.

Along with this simplification is the implementation of the One-Stop-Shop (OSS) and IOSS (Import One-Stop-Shop) for EU and UK sellers.

 

Brexit Update for OSS & IOSS

Selling to multiple countries in the EU can make any business easily prone to accounting errors. Some of the most common mistakes include not applying the correct VAT rate to the right country, or not even registering for VAT in the first place. To simplify the declaration and payment of VAT for goods sold from a distance by sellers, the EU is introducing two new measures.

1) One Stop Shop (OSS)

2) Import One Stop Shop (IOSS)

The one-stop-shop is an electronic portal that UK and EU businesses can access as of July 1st to comply with VAT eCommerce obligations on the sales of exported goods. This system is a return of the EU Moss System that was used previously before Brexit. EU based merchants will use an OSS system different from UK based merchants.

To be specific about OSS systems, they specifically facilitate the process of collecting and declaring VAT to tax authorities for suppliers and eCommerce businesses.

1) One Stop Shop

The implementation of the one-stop-shop is for selling goods and services to EU customers from EU sellers. Merchants will file a single tax return quarterly. Though EU businesses will use this, UK businesses may as well. If you’re a UK business with operations in the EU, you may need to also register, depending on your individual circumstances.

There are two versions of the OSS. Union and non-union.

Union OSS

The Union OSS is for EU online sellers doing business in the EU. They will register with the OSS in their own member state for all intra-EU distance sales. OSS registration for EU businesses has been available since April 1st.

Non-Union OSS

The Non-Union OSS is exclusively for online sellers not established in the EU. If you are a UK seller of “services”, this is the category you fall under. You can register for Non-Union OSS here.

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2) Import One Stop Shop (IOSS)

The implementation of the import one-stop shop (also non-union) is for non-EU and UK businesses selling “imported goods” from outside the EU to private consumers in the EU. If you have a UK eCommerce business that sells goods to the EU, this is your category.

If the goods are less than €150, you can register for IOSS. You will be given an IOSS identification number that is unique and should be listed on all packages sent to the EU. This will ensure a quicker customs clearance process as it will show that VAT has been properly declared.

From July 1st, 2021, UK sellers will be able to use the EU IOSS.

Important note:

Non-EU businesses and marketplaces without a ‘mutual assistance’ EU agreement using IOSS must appoint an EU-resident intermediary. This is some form of a VAT agent who can represent them to use IOSS. They will share in the accounting process of VAT filings and VAT payments.

How do I register for IOSS?

If you’re a UK seller or sell abroad, and you would like to register with IOSS, this can be accomplished by going to the website of any EU member state. Registration has already begun, and the system will be online and available on July 1st in the UK. By registering with one EU member state, you are automatically enrolled throughout the entire EU.

These new OSS systems are one of the major benefits of the new changes for online sellers. It is more streamlined and involves a lot less paperwork rather than enrolling in 27 member states!

Important note

Neither OSS nor IOSS is required. Your eCommerce business can register in the individual EU member states that you do business in.

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What are the benefits of the OSS & IOSS?

1) Single unified system for all EU countries – no separate filing

2) Save time on VAT reporting

2) Potential to save money on compliance costs when exporting goods

3) Reduces the likelihood of errors when reporting with automatic systems

What goods do the OSS and IOSS cover?

The table below outlines which system should be used for which type of supply and/or taxable person.

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How does the OSS & IOSS work for VAT?

After you register with IOSS, you will do the following.

  1. Apply VAT rate of the member state you’re sending goods to for every transaction.
  2. Collect VAT from the customer for all EU distance sales of goods.
  3. Complete and submit an electronic quarterly tax return via the OSS/IOSS portal.
  4. Make a quarterly VAT payment which you declare in the EU member state you decided to register with.
  5. Keep accurate records of all the sales you have made for the next ten years minimum.

 

Low-Value import VAT exemption removal

The low-value import VAT exemption was enacted on January 1st 2021. This means that goods imported into the EU under €22 (£15) in value are exempt from both import VAT and customs duty. Anything between €22 and €150 (£135) will be subject to VAT and customs duty. Sellers with low-value consignments have benefited from this since January 1st. However, that is no longer the case.

From July 1st, all commercial goods sent to the EU will be subject to VAT, no matter their value.

VAT must now be charged at the time of sale (at the VAT rate in the customers country) for consignments not exceeding €150 (£135). This can then be reported via the IOSS.

 

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Why was this exemption removed?

This scheme has been seen as abusive economically to the EU as many sellers mistakenly or deliberately under-declared the values of the goods to avoid VAT. This new system will ensure a fairer and balanced scheme, benefiting improved trade relationships & economic impact. Sellers that repeat offend will have longer clearance times at custom checks due to poor track records. In a service-first environment speed cross-border is essential.

Special Arrangements

Not everyone will opt-in for the IOSS system. Therefore, they may instead use “special arrangements” with their postal and customs agents instead to collect the import VAT on consignments not exceeding €150 (£135).

How does this Brexit update impact UK sellers?

Any eCommerce business that exports low-value goods to the EU will be affected by this. It is advised that you understand the ramifications of this as costs will increase. You must decide how you will handle the charges and reporting of VAT.

 

Online marketplaces deemed the seller for collecting and reporting VAT

Online marketplaces include companies such as eBay, Etsy, Alibaba, and Amazon. If you use these marketplaces to sell and ship products to a customer, this change will affect you.

The new change is that you will no longer be considered the “deemed seller” for transactions. The marketplace you use will be the “deemed seller” for transactions. What this means is that they are now required to account for VAT on your behalf.

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Is this a good benefit?

Yes, it seems it is. This saves time for you the seller and adds an extra layer of compliance for reporting with these major companies handling all the VAT details for your business.

This has been implemented to help simplify VAT compliance and eliminate fraud.

There are also new record-keeping requirements for online marketplaces facilitating supplies of goods and services

Another update for July 1st requires more record keeping for marketplaces.

What this means is that the marketplaces (eBay, Etsy, Alibaba) are now required to keep definitive VAT records of all transactions for a minimum of 10 years.

 

Customs declarations are now required for all consignments

Currently, at the border, consignments less than €22 (£15) or lower do not require customs declarations.

These products actually make up almost 90% of all goods entering Europe

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This new change could be challenging for logistics companies as the number of declarations are going to increase substantially in July. The number of declarations at the EU border is estimated to grow from 2 billion to 8 billion.

This potentially means slower processes at the border, late shipments, and packages being piled up in border warehouses due to missing or incomplete declarations. For maintaining smooth operations both logistics companies and sellers should implement automated platforms.

Selazar makes this easy for all our customers via our online portal. Clients can update all product information from anywhere as well as the necessary information for customs clearance.

The information required for our couriers to ensure smooth processing include the products commodity code, EORI numbers, and SKU numbers. We also have to include the exact value of goods as well as the weight or size and country of origin.

Until July 1st, postal consignments not exceeding a value of €150 can be declared for free circulation without a formal customs declaration. The same facility applies to non-postal consignments with a value not exceeding €22 (£15).

If you’d like to get more guidance for low-value consignments, the European Commission has prepared a guidance document on the importation and exportation of low-value consignments.

What is the overall impact on eCommerce with the new July 1st Brexit update?

If you are a UK business that sells goods to customers in the EU, you need to decide the best system for controlling your sales.

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Here is a checklist of items you should consider with these new July 1st Brexit changes.

• Speak with VAT advisers to understand the exact VAT implications for your business

•Decide whether you want OSS/IOSS or if you prefer to file VAT returns in EU member states individually

•Display localised VAT on products

• Integrate total landed cost calculations into checkout

• Calculate your estimated costs for VAT if you typically sell goods to the EU below €150.

•Look into ways for automating customs declarations if you sell a lot of goods

 

Selazar is happy to answer any questions you may have concerning the new Brexit update. If you’d like assistance in automating your product fulfilment and all necessary documentation for customs clearance, we can get that set up for you. Just schedule a completely free discovery call with us.

 

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Expanding Fulfilment Operations with new 3PL Warehouse

Announcement: Our new 3pl warehouse

London, 26 May 2021: Rapidly growing eCommerce fulfilment company Selazar has announced the expansion of its operations, with the opening of a new state-of-the-art flagship 3pl warehouse in Nuneaton, Warwickshire. The new warehouse will see the UK-based tech company increase its reach to all areas of the country via this prime geographical location.

 

 

Selazar, which was founded in Belfast and also has offices in London and Birmingham, has been on a solid growth trajectory since its launch in 2019. The company has developed a highly innovative proprietary eCommerce fulfilment platform and primarily services medium-sized and bespoke retailers throughout the UK.

The new flagship 3pl warehouse offers the UK’s most accurate fulfilment service.

It is designed for high-speed, high-volume operations and is already demonstrating its capabilities. In the initial test phase, pick time was reduced by 20 percent within 30 days of the commencement of operations. Peak output volume for the facility is 250,000 orders per month and 1,000,000 picks per month at full speed.

Commenting on the opening of the new warehouse, Jack Williams, CEO of Selazar said: “Our new state-of-the-art warehouse marks an important milestone in our ability to provide fast and innovative fulfilment services throughout the UK. As we push to bring turnaround times lower and lower, we are constantly working to optimise our performance. At the Nuneaton warehouse, we’ve managed to turn orders around in less than 30 minutes. Our new target is sub-15-minutes. As an emerging start-up being recognised within the tech eCommerce space, Selazar is proud to bring 75 new jobs to the local community in the near future. “

The flagship 3pl warehouse setup was completed in record time, only two weeks to fully prep the site for change over. Using our tech-first approach, Selazar successfully migrated to the new site without interrupting our partner’s service. The new site will become home to a technology innovation centre where product lines and new start-ups can benefit from market-beating technology while they build pipelines and scale their business.

 

The start of an explosive expansion journey began right here in Nuneaton. The lessons learned and success of onboarding this site will form the base plan for Selazar’s expansion across the UK, EU and the Globe.

Selazar customer Will Duffield CEO & Founder, Starwood Sports – a UK-based retailer of premium products for recreational sports said: “Selazar has been an ideal partner for Starwood Sports, in both optimising our customer experience and distribution costs. The team understands our business and offers outstanding service that has helped us to grow our business. We’re certain the new Nuneaton warehouse will extend Selazar’s capabilities, which will be to the benefit of us and our customers.”

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About Selazar

Selazar is a UK-based tech-first eCommerce fulfilment specialist. The company has developed a proprietary, cloud-based warehousing and fulfilment platform for eCommerce retailers. We pick pack and ship products to your customers as efficiently as possible. No fuss, no headaches, just streamlined intelligent automated operations. Our transparent system lets retailers understand, track and ignore the complex process of fulfilment, allowing them to get on with the real work – growing their business.

Being recognised in Northern Ireland for our innovative approach, Innovate NI and Tech Nation have both recognised Selazar with awards for our easy to use platform.

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Understanding the Brexit Consequences for UK eCommerce

Since 2016, the build-up to Brexit has been a figural thorn in the side of most UK and EU eCommerce businesses, brands, and retailers. If you’re like most people in the UK or EU, you may need some more help and clarification with the Brexit trade deal changes that took place on January 1st, 2021. We want to give you a Brexit deal summary so that you can understand the ins and outs of the latest Brexit news, the Brexit consequences, and the new Brexit rules. What are they exactly? What do they mean? How are they going to affect my business? When can I stop pulling my hair out?

As if Covid hadn’t complicated things enough, now Brexit is here to stay and complicating business just a little bit more. Covid fatigue is real, and so is Brexit fatigue. Many feel unprepared for the changes. In fact, a new report reveals that 76% of small businesses feel unsupported and confused. However, it is important to understand these recent changes to prepare for things like the Brexit VAT changes, EORI numbers, and customs preparation. This includes UK retailers, UK ecommerce platforms and companies, and UK logistics companies. Selazar aims to help businesses understand and adapt to these changes, and we are always available to speak to you personally about this if you’d like to setup a call.

 

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WHAT IS BREXIT?

So, what exactly is Brexit again? Well, the literal Brexit (Britain’s exit) definition means that the United Kingdom (UK) officially withdrew from the European Union (EU), a union of 27 member states throughout Europe, adapted in 1950 as a means for Europe to unite and prosper socially, and economically. The EU had its own set of membership costs, tariff regulations, and agreements. Now that the UK has left, new laws apply to selling and shipping between the UK and the EU. That means new regulations, services, import tax, and customs declarations. Whereas before the UK remained within the EU customs and VAT systems, now that it has changed and there are new customs formalities. The new Brexit costs and changes apply to merchants and buyers in the UK, in the EU, and abroad. As this process is ongoing, ensure that your business is staying updated with the latest Brexit news. The Team at Selazar work hard to make sure our clients understand these changes and Brexit consequences to ensure a seamless process for their business.

 

What are some of the most significant Brexit changes for sellers?

Up until 2021 selling online and shipping was relatively easy. When your EU customers made an order, they were fulfilled by a UK warehouse and moved across the border in a timely and efficient manner without too much hassle or worries of extra costs. When UK eCommerce customers placed an order, the same process was also smooth from the EU to the UK.

 

Now, some of the most significant Brexit consequences and changes for sellers based in the UK and EU that could slow this process include:

1) Customs Forms – Sending products from the UK to Europe now requires custom declaration forms CN-22 and CN-23. For items with a value up to £270, use customs form CN22. For items with a value over £270, use customs form CN23. You can access more information about UK customs here. The UK government has advised it would be useful to hire a customs broker, freight forwarder, or similar entity to help with customs relating to importing and exporting.

2) EORI Numbers – Now, because the UK is no longer a part of the European Union, you will have to get an EORI number from HMRC (Economic Operator Registration and Identification Number) to move goods between Great Britain and the EU. It is now necessary for both customs and UK VAT documentation.

Your business needs to make sure to include, if necessary, the EORI numbers on your customs documents or you will face increased delays and potential further costs. Not doing this will cause more kinks in your supply chain, so make sure to take care of this important task ahead of time. Selazar makes this easy because our platform automates all customs paperwork and delivers it electronically to the relevant courier networks. Adding your EORI numbers is easily done on the Selazar platform, as shown below.

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3) Special UK Export License – After December 31st, 2020, the Export Joint Unit (ECJU) has new requirements of controlled items. There are goods that may require a UK export licence and/or certificate. Some of these items include: Chemicals, goods, excise goods, livestock, and foodstuffs. See the list here.

4) Northern Ireland: Northern Ireland has a dual position in the EU Customs union. According to the Northern Ireland Protocol, this means that UK authorities apply EU customs rules to goods entering Northern Ireland. The

aim of the protocol was to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland. This means new systems for traders, electronic administrative processes, declaration requirements, and security information for goods entering Northern

Ireland from the rest of the UK. You will need an EORI number to move goods from Great Britian to Northern Ireland, however at this time it is unlikely you will need an EORI number from Northern Ireland to Ireland.

For Northern Ireland (NI) trade with Great Britian (England, Wales, Scotland), this is treated still as a domestic UK transaction. UK VAT is also still applied. Goods moving between Ireland and Northern Ireland are unchanged and will be considered as movements across internal EU borders. Check your EORI validation, EORI number format, and EORI checker here.

 

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BREXIT VAT CHANGES

Now that we have a Brexit trade deal, and the UK is no longer a part of the EU, things aren’t as simple as they were with the previous EU Customs Union. Now sellers will need to consider paying custom tariffs, identifying HS and commodity codes, completing customers declarations, and managing increased UK VAT changes and liabilities. The way VAT is accounted for has changed, and the UK VAT changes affect trade with both EU and non-EU countries.

As many of us know, the value-added tax (VAT) charge is a tax on the UK’s goods and services, reported to HMRC. The UK is continuing to levy VAT after Brexit, as the same rules apply for domestic transactions. Prior to Brexit consequences, the UK was part of the EU VAT regime which was an

EU added tax on goods and services with the European Union.

To be clear, you will now pay VAT on goods sent from the EU and non-European Union countries and special territories (e.g. the Canary Islands) if they’re:

  • Gifts more than £39
  • Other goods worth more than £15
  • Alcohol, tobacco products and fragrances (eg perfume, toiletries, and cologne) of any value

You will have to pay VAT on all goods sent by mail order from the Channel Islands no matter what their value.

You’ll be charged at the VAT rate that applies to your goods. VAT is charged on the total value, including:

  • The price paid for the goods
  • Postage, packaging, and insurance
  • Any duty you owe

 

Recognising the potential for slower operations at UK customs post Brexit, the UK has now introduced a deferred import VAT scheme in lieu of VAT payable upon import. This scheme was created so no in person cash VAT payment must be made by business importers to UK customs. This lets you account for the VAT on your VAT return, rather than paying it immediately (e.g., at the port of entry). This is known as Postponed VAT accounting (PVA). However, the postponed VAT accounting scheme is optional. If you wish to pay the VAT upfront when the goods enter the UK (at the port of entry, for example, or after release from a customs warehouse), then you can.

For sellers shipping goods from the UK to the European Union:

UK sellers will have to consider VAT registration in each European country you are selling to. EU VAT is payable on the goods when they enter the EU.

To be clear, if you are a UK seller, you do not want to charge VAT for EU or ROW orders customers at checkout. EU customers will be asked to pay VAT and duty on delivery, so you don’t want to be double charging them.

 

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For sellers shipping goods to the UK from the EU:

Similarly, EU eCommerce sellers now have to consider the Brexit consequences of UK VAT As of January 1st, 2021. If you send goods as an EU seller to the U.K., above £135, you will pay import VAT with HMRC. No customs duty or import VAT will be added below this. Sellers sending goods to the UK will need to apply VAT at the point of sale, rather than applied as import VAT at customs. Some customers have already dealt with very surprising charges of these Brexit consequences.

According to an article published by The Guardian, customers in Europe buying products ranging from furniture to pet food from UK companies are receiving unexpected bills for VAT and customs declarations. One couple said that “we bought a £42 shelf for their bathroom, and on the morning, it was supposed to be delivered, we received an import duty/tax demand for over €30, like a ransom note. It was a complete surprise.” Headaches like this seem to be on the rise with the new Brexit VAT changes, so make sure your business adjusts accordingly. Follow any of the latest Brexit updates around VAT here.

Because the UK abandoned the EU VAT Regime on December 21st, 2020 and then introduced the deferred import VAT scheme (PVA), this will enable importers to account for and recover import VAT as input tax on the same periodic (usually quarterly) VAT return, rather than having to pay it upfront and recover it on a subsequent return using the C79 VAT certificate as evidence of entitlement.

 

VAT MOSS Brexit Changes

The UK left the EU VAT regime on December 31st, 2020. If you sell digital goods in the UK to EU customers, then you can no longer use the Mini One-Stop Shop (MOSS) single VAT return with HMRC to report your sales to your EU customers and pay over EU VAT. You will need a new VAT registration to avoid any fines on taxes due to Brexit changes. Selling across the border to UK and EU consumers include things such as: Software, e-learning, e-books, downloadable media, streaming media, dating & membership websites.

  • For UK sellers that have UK eCommerce websites and sell to the EU, apply now in any EU member state for a MOSS registration number under the Non-Union MOSS scheme. You will be able to use this to report quarterly sales to EU27 states.
  • For EU sellers that have EU eCommerce websites, selling to the UK, you should apply now for a UK VAT number to report on a quarterly basis any sales to UK customers. There is no threshold for this. All UK sales must be immediately reported to the UK’S HMRC.
  • For US sellers with US eCommerce websites, if you are registered in the UK for your pan-EU electronic services, you can no longer be able to use that for EU or UK transaction reporting. You will need a new EU MOSS registration. For the UK, you will need a new UK VAT registration, too.

 

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DEFER DUTY PAYMENTS FOR UK SELLERS

If your business imports goods regularly, you can now apply for a duty deferment account to delay the payment of many customs charges. This applies to

  • Customs Duty
  • Excise duty
  • Import VAT

By creating a duty deferment account, it allows your business to make a one-time payment a month through direct debit instead of constantly paying for individual consignments. Most people who qualify for a duty deferment account are importers or someone who represents them. If your application is successful, you will receive a duty deferment approval number.

Zero VAT rate

Depending on the type of goods you deal in, zero rated VAT items are goods that will be classified in VAT categories, but that rate is set to zero. These types of supplies are items such as children’s clothes and footwear, water, basic foods, books, and newspapers. So, check if you qualify for zero VAT rate.

Also keep up to date on Brexit consequences with the UK VAT calculator.

 

COMMODITY CODES

Understanding the classification of goods so the correct tariff and quota can be added must be correct. Commodity codes (CC) consist of eight digits for your goods and 10 digits for goods you import. Luckily, the UK still uses the same codes used in the EU.

These numeric codes can be found in the system with the World Customs Organisation. See here for commodity codes UK.

THE PROCESS

To summarize, here are the steps for submitting customs when exporting goods from the UK to EU countries.

1) Apply for an EORI number

2) Know the commodity codes of your goods

3) Find out about licence or other special requirements

4) Check if you fulfil the conditions for zero VAT rate

 

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What are tariffs again? Well, more tax liability, unfortunately. Tariffs are a type of tax paid on imports, charged by the country to which the import is made, separate from VAT. Tariffs in the UK are payable to HMRC. These tariffs are calculated by the commodity code. The rules that applied before Brexit from non-EU countries now apply to imports from the EU.

Many people assumed a post Brexit tariff-free trade deal; as it seemed from the information we were given; however, it seems there are still tariffs on some goods. Customs duty (tariffs) will apply to some goods and excise duties will continue to apply to tobacco, alcohol, and certain energy products. Also, for some products outside of the UK and EU. For example, if more than 40% of the goods pre-finished value is neither of British or EU Origin, there will also be tariffs.

This specifically means that a tariff will be added if the goods originate from places such as China or Japan (where many goods and drop shipping comes from). The Brexit deal fine print on this issue is not great for companies who choose to source products from those regions. For example, if you want to export clothes from the UK to the EU, it won’t ‘qualify as tariff-free if the items were originally from China. Like many other products, they do not qualify anymore for zero rate tariffs under the Brexit agreement. The cost of this tariff will have a substantial impact on many UK companies.

The good news, however, of these Brexit consequences is that China will benefit from many zero-tariff benefits for many of its products coming into the UK. China is estimated to be the third-largest import partner to the UK, estimated at 10% of the market. See the UK global tariff list here.

Other tariffs will vary depending on the type of product being brought in. Therefore, it’s crucial for exporters to include the correct commodity code for their products. You can look up commodity codes, duty, and VAT rates by using the government’s website look-up-tool.

Tariffs will apply to all goods imported into the UK unless:

 

WHAT DO THE BREXIT CONSEQUENCES MEAN FOR THE FUTURE OF E-COMMERCE?

Rest assured that online shopping in the UK is massive. The UK is the third-largest eCommerce market in the world, accounting for 19% of total retail, making it worth over £200 billion. The momentum is there, and it will not be slowing anytime soon. In a post-COVID-19 world, UK eCommerce will continue its massive growth, and nothing will change that. To ensure the promising future of eCommerce, the customer experience must be the centre of attention.

With increased border delays, this could potentially slow the industry and supply chain’s, negatively impacting a positive customer experience. The way forward from this is to move beyond those hurdles by predicting them, preparing for them, and surpassing them with smarter systems and predictive processes.

Now, the UK government has introduced measures to reduce the impact of Brexit consequences on businesses, but these new changes do mean tough new challenges for businesses of all types. You must do an immediate review of your supply chain and assess potential damages and losses. Look at the EORI number, VAT reporting, payments, etc. You may need to update your IT/software services provider, and if it would be beneficial to switch to a 3pl service provider.

Understanding the Brexit consequences for UK eCommerce is critical. Retailers should reconsider how to optimize their UK order fulfilment by avoiding bottlenecks at customs. Prolonged delivery times from UK online shopping will deepen the impact of Brexit on the UK economy. Outsourcing your order fulfilment for UK online shopping sites can help you successfully navigate the standards and expectations of your customers in this post Brexit era.

 

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