Less e-commerce than expected during corona-crisis, despite high demand

Source: freepik.com/ijeab

Less e-commerce than expected during corona-crisis, despite high demand

Thomas Reiner | 27.05.2020

It may seem surprising that the number of online purchases is below expectations. Especially in times of Corona, one would have expected a dynamic increase. And there is one, for example in the number of online first-time buyers.

As the INNOFACT Corona Trade Tracking from the 16th calendar week in April 2020 shows, first-time buyers make up a not inconsiderable proportion of all online buyers, especially in the DIY, beverage, food and drugstore product segments.

If the overall figures for e-commerce are nevertheless below expectations, this is due to a performance problem in the system.
Reasons for not buying despite buying interest are cited by respondents to the retail tracking survey, for example:

– Too long delivery times (30 %)
– concerns about delivery costs (27 %)
– Lack of availability of the desired products (18 %)

There is a high level of willingness to engage in e-commerce among consumers. But the system was not prepared. Where goods are not available or delivery is delayed, the desire to buy cannot become reality.

We can assume that the chain is doing its homework. They will be better prepared for dynamically increasing consumer interest in the future. E-commerce will emerge stronger from the Corona crisis.

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The pressure’s rising: France to completely ban disposable plastics by 2040

Source: freepik.com

The pressure’s rising:

France to completely ban disposable plastics by 2040

Thomas Reiner | 13.05.2020

As part of an anti-waste law, France recently passed a law to completely ban disposable plastics – including disposable plastic packaging – by 2040. The gradual implementation is divided into four five-year plans; 2020-2025, 2025-2030, 2030-2035 and 2035-2040.

The process is subject to parliamentary control and sets clear targets for the reduction, multiple use and recycling of plastic from 2021. The targets are reviewed and updated at the start of each five-year phase.

The first phase of implementation began at the beginning of 2020, since when disposable cups and dishes and cotton swabs made of plastic have been banned. From 2021, the ban will be extended to products such as straws, plastic cutlery and plastic confetti. By 2025, 100 percent of the plastic used is to be recycled.

France has a traditionally poor rate of recycling plastic. In 2018, only 25 percent was recycled, while the European average was 30 percent.

The adopted law is only the latest example of national solo efforts to regulate the use of plastics. The increasing, uncoordinated, national measures show how great the pressure on the material has become. And this pressure will continue to increase as long as we do not succeed in closing the recycling loops for plastics.
At the same time, national go-it-alone measures are leading to a patchwork of parallel regulations. This makes the challenges even more complex than they already are.

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Stumbling block agility: This is why SMEs are failing at digital transformation

Stumbling block agility: This is why SMEs are failing at digital transformation


Thomas Reiner | 06.05.2020

A quantitative Candidus study examines the digital maturity level of medium-sized companies in Germany. The current state of digital transformation is presented with the help of a five-dimensional model.
The result shows that the average digital maturity level is only in the middle range (Basic). Only a narrow 8.1 percent of the participating companies have a highly agile organization and culture.
That is very little. And on the surface it’s astonishing because most companies certainly have the technical foundations to make the most of the opportunities offered by digital transformation. Furthermore, the study shows that digital transformation is very much identified by decision-makers as a success factor for the entire company.
So what’s lacking?
It’s noticeable that the implementations that have taken place are primarily at a strategic level. However, there is a lack of sufficiently trained and motivated employees who could recognize and implement the opportunities offered by digital transformation. In addition, a roadmap for the professional implementation of the strategy is usually missing.
Both factors point to an underlying cause: The actual degree of penetration of digital transformation in companies is far too low. There is room for optimization above all in organization and culture – and that means: in agility.
Because agility is an organizational characteristic on the one hand, but also a cultural characteristic at the same time, for example when it comes to entrepreneurship or the spirit of innovation.
If SMEs want to exploit the potential of digital transformation, they have to become more agile.

More packaging = More CO2? Corona reveals quite a different story

More packaging = More CO2?

Corona reveals quite a different story

Thomas Reiner | 27.04.2020

As our calculations presented in our last blog post show, the change in consumer behaviour caused by the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is expected to lead to around 10 percent more sales in grocery retailing – and as a direct consequence, to a significant increase in the demand for respective packaging.

The trend in CO2 emissions is exactly the opposite. So more packaging does not mean more CO2.

As a result of a pandemic, German CO2 emissions will fall by around 30 million tonnes in the first 15 calendar weeks of 2020 alone compared to the same period in 2019. If the pandemic situation continues until the middle of the year, the reductions will then add up to around 100 million tonnes.

The four main sources of CO2 in Germany are the energy sector, industry, buildings and transport. According to figures from the Federal Environment Agency (UBA), some 805 million tonnes of CO2 were released into the atmosphere in 2019. The target for 2020 was 750 million tonnes, a reduction of nearly 7 percent. These figures could be collected. Current UBA forecasts predict 675 – 745 million tonnes for 2020.

There is no question that the corona pandemic, for example due to the collapse of travel, has a very large impact on CO2 emissions. But not everything is corona-made.

In Germany, for example, the mild winter months of January and February and the simultaneous strong wind power production result in a reduction of 20 million tonnes spread over the whole year. As planned, i.e. measures introduced even before SARS-CoV-2, are contributing a further 10 – 15 tonnes of reduction.

Just how massive one-off effects can be in terms of the CO2 balance is also demonstrated by the massive bush fires in Australia, which released around 830 million tonnes of CO2 between June 2019 and February 2020. This is more than the annual emissions of Germany and about 2 percent of the annual global CO2 emissions.

The fact that Germany will meet or even exceed its climate targets for CO2 this year is a surprise that nobody would have bet on at the beginning of the year. The reasons are one-off effects in various sectors. The impact due to the increased use of packaging is not a factor in this calculation. More packaging does not mean more CO2.

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