Meet the speaker: Ben Franzi, General Manager, Parcel & Express Services, Australia Post

Ben Franzi is responsible for providing world-class parcel and e-commerce services to Australia’s local and international customers. Ahead of his presentation at MEGATRANS2020, he presents some of the trends that are set to shape the future of e-commerce in Australia.

Ben has significant expertise in the e-commerce industry. He has been with Australia Post for more than 18 years and has been working with e-commerce solutions in some shape or form for the past eight years.

He leads a team that creates data and insights to help Australian businesses maintain a competitive advantage, and he has helped shape Australia Post’s suite of e-commerce services.

Over the past three years, Australia has been experiencing an unprecedented growth in e-commerce spend. “Over the last five years, the growth has doubled. We’re now looking at 10 per cent annual growth,” Ben says.

Australia Post recently released its eCommerce update report, 2019 maintained steady growth in the number of purchases, with a solid 17.2 per cent year on year increase.

Ben attributes a lot of this growth to the larger retailers establishing a more sophisticated e-commerce offering. “The big retailers, such as Kmart, Myer Target, didn’t quite have everything ready to meet the consumer demand. But in the past year, they have really started to grow their e-commerce offering,” he says.

This is largely due to the pace that Amazon has set, Ben says. “The level of service that Amazon can offer has really influenced other retailers to up their game in Australia.”

Ben says the days of consumers not knowing, or even caring, when their order will turn up are long gone. “They want full visibility now, the want to know when, where and how their order is going to arrive.”

He refers to this as the Uberisation of the delivery experience. However, he does acknowledge that this consumer demand is putting a lot of pressure on the retailers. “All these trends are working against the profitability of the retailer. It’s having a massive commercial impact on them. We’re continuing to see the closure of large-scale retailers and I wonder how we can work on rebalancing this trend?” Ben asks.

Ben wonders whether there will be a shift to more environmental and sustainable delivery options as the next generation come of age. He says, it is clear that this is a cause that they care about and it will be interesting to see how this affects their shopping behaviour.

“Once this generation has more disposable income and a larger share of the consumer spend, I wonder if we will start to see sustainability at the top of the agenda for retailers. They may use this as a marketing opportunity and offer more sustainable options to their consumers rather than driving for faster and cheaper delivery at the cost of the environment,” he says.