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What Did 2021 Mean for Retail? A Look into the Growing Popularity of Drop Shipping…

·3-min read

For businesses and consumers alike, 2021 was still plagued, (pun intended), by the wrath of Covid-19. The pandemic has shifted the way consumers shop, possibly forever. With buying trends being forced to react differently from outside influence, new thought patterns in relation to spending will no longer being the same. So what is the ‘new normal’ and why is there a new fixation on the model of Drop Shipping?

We can all imagine the damming affects bricks and mortar stores have faced when it comes to footfall. Even whilst stores were open, retailers were struggling to bring in healthy levels of shoppers in. “Retail analysts Springboard on 2 December revealed Black Friday had failed to deliver a boost to footfall. Between 31 October and 27 November, footfall dropped 14.5% compared with the equivalent pre-pandemic period in 2019 and a drop of 13.4% the previous month” showing that the demand and reliance for online shopping has and will continue to grow.

As well as footfall, another blow retailers suffered were the effects of the supply chain crisis we saw in 2021. Drapersonline.com cited “In mid-October business consultancy Russell Group warned that clothing is one of the worst-affected sectors, predicting that almost £1.5bn of goods may be hit by shipping delays.” This couldn’t have come at a worse time for retailers in need of a quick refresh in store.

It comes as no surprise in this case that the new model of drop shipping is looking more and more favourable over the standard retail model. It takes the concept of no risk to the next level. Firstly, you don’t need physical premise to sell products to customers so why bother with handling the stock as well? By using a third party, no stock or inventory is held meaning low overheads, less capital needed and a wider selection of products to sell. Fulfilling orders in this way has proved a huge hit as it gives business’s the time to invest in other areas such brand awareness and marketing.

By leveraging dropshipping suppliers, it also plays into the ‘right here right now’ trend which we’re massively seeing emerging. For example, we can look at grocery shopping apps such as Istanbul-based Getir. Founded in 2015 they invented the category of 10-minute delivery for customers who order through its app. This year its valuation ballooned from $850 million to more than $7.5 billion, proving people want to be able to have something sent quickly to them using easy to access technology. This is how consumer behaviour will continue to act- we don’t want to wait and we don’t have to either.


The expectations are now high and the demand for increasingly fast lead times means the model of drop shipping makes tremendous sense. As times of uncertainty become the norm, new ways of thinking must be born. Looking at drop shipping business’s such as Fast Merch- never again do you have to wait 16-24 weeks to get a product to market, their record from a client idea to a live product was 27 minutes. From housing stock lines and production, through to personalisation and smart drop shipping, Fast Merch is one of the businesses who have tapped into this exciting sector of growth. They have enabled companies to have the ability to review, refine, refresh and add to their collection piece by piece.

By curating a targeted range, now companies are able to reap the same benefits as some of the worlds most valuable, forward thinking brands. This assists both beginners who have a concept they want to bring to life or established retailers looking to offer something innovative and unique.

Retailers whilst wishing to end the year on a high, have faced issues with supply chain, Brexit and the pandemic and are now going into the second year of change and adjustment. We’ve seen offices and stores eerily quiet but by adapting to new approach solutions that limit risk, enable fast testing and even faster replenishment- there’s hope for 2022.


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