The eCommerce revolution is only just beginning, and the way businesses respond today will determine whether they survive or thrive in the marketplace of tomorrow.
Latest estimates from the eMarketer’s Global eCommerce Report for 2019 predict US consumers will spend $587 billion online in 2019, a 14% increase from the previous year and representing 10.7% of total US retail spending.
This trend is only increasing, with online sales expected to account for 16% of US retail spending by 2023.
The sectors experiencing the fastest shift to eCommerce are food and beverage at 23.1% and health, personal care and beauty at 18.6%. These are both sectors with a traditionally strong physical retail presence, which are now being swept up in the wave of consumers shifting their preference to online shopping and delivery to their door.
As the eCommerce revolution gains momentum, the expectations of consumers for fast and free shipping is increasing. According to an NRF study, 75% of consumers now expect free shipping on orders under $50, up from 68% in 2017.
While consumer expectations place the burden of paying for shipping on the seller, parcel shipping rates continue to increase at twice the rate of inflation, adding additional pressure on margins.
Businesses are scrambling to adapt to these shifts in consumer behaviour. Moving quickly to establish the capability for fast, efficient omnichannel fulfilment is a critical piece of the puzzle.
Many retailers are opening online storefronts to complement their brick and mortar stores. Manufacturers are adding direct to consumer drop-shipping to their traditional truckload and LTL fulfilment. Third-party logistics providers are investing in their ability to provide sophisticated eCommerce fulfilment capabilities to their traditional clients, as well as plotting expansion into emerging markets.
Regardless of sector or role, businesses require significant adjustments to warehouse operations to take advantage of an expanding market in an atmosphere of high expectations from consumers and increasing costs putting pressure on the bottom line.
Add Pick, Pack, Parcel to your warehousing and fulfilment mix
Not every warehouse management system supports parcel shipping, and not all ‘warehouse management systems’ are created equal. The outcome is that many businesses resort to sending parcels through a carrier-provided or third-party multi-carrier shipping ‘solution’. The result is the creation of data silos and barriers to realising the substantial benefits of either an enterprise WMS or full-feature parcel shipping software.
Whatever the approach taken, building a powerful omnichannel fulfilment capability is an essential ingredient to survival, growth (and profit!) in the post eCommerce revolution marketplace.
So, what does ‘true’ omnichannel fulfilment capability entail? The key elements can be summarised across three key processes:
The good news is getting into the eCommerce game doesn’t have to involve substantial capital expenditure and months of time and energy.
With Microlistics WMS, coupled with one of our integrated partners such as Pierbridge (USA) or SmartFreight (ANZ,UK), you can set up a revolution-busing omnichannel eCommerce fulfilment capability in as few as 30 days.