As an e-commerce company, leveraging a streamlined supply chain is a crucial advantage over traditional brick-and-mortar outlets. Leveraging data and visibility technology can have a direct impact on pricing strategies as well as fulfillment and delivery optimization. Using the data your customers provide allows you to stop estimating shipping quotes or offering options you “think” they want. Here are five ways your distribution data can make your supply chain stronger.
The barrage of home runs that were hit during the late 90’s was a result of batters having extra power. The era of PEDs changed the way fans think about baseball and changed the way the game is played. In the NFL, new rules to increase safety for players have also changed the way this sport is played. With more protective rules for quarterbacks, scores have risen and defenses have been forced to adapt in order to avoid penalties. These are two examples where shifts in control and power have altered the state of competition. The same is very true in the world of business-to-business e-commerce. Consumers have never had more power than they do right now, and there are no signs of that slowing down. These 8 facts support the changing landscape of e-commerce retail and how you can play by these new rules.
Over 72 holes of a golf tournament it is quite astounding how the last few strokes can be shaped by the hours and days spent before. A lost ball here, a penalty there, a long putt when it matters most; while these events can seem insignificant at the time, their impact on Sunday’s leaderboard can be substantial. E-commerce fulfillment is very similar. All of the automation, visibility, and supply chain management that goes into fulfilling an order ultimately depends on what happens during that last mile. While avoiding the water on 18 can be a challenge on the links, last mile delivery can pose a threat to a successful e-commerce supply chain. Here are a few challenges that remain for last mile delivery.
Businesses used to mail out catalogs to consumers. Each season, something new, bigger than a phonebook and full of glossy pages that featured every size and style you could imagine arrived on your doorstep.
Keeping a logistics budget on plan in an e-commerce world can be a complicated task. It requires on demand forecasting and real-time accounting for changes in fulfillment related expenses and customer expectations. The recent change in dimensional weight charges is a prime example of a circumstance that directly impacts budgeting and operations, especially for e-commerce companies.
Online retail is still a new and challenging sector with increasing competition. A third party logistics provider can be a valuable asset and resource to any e-commerce outlet. Below are four benefits that a 3PL can provide for online retailers.
Facebook became one the largest advertising platforms in the world by leveraging data. After years of connecting you with your friends, family, and interests, the social media network became one of the biggest data aggregators ever. By recognizing where you live, what TV shows you like, your favorite sports teams and music, and just about everything else in between, Facebook can offer advertisers a focused, qualified audience. Now this information isn’t only available to major tech companies. E-commerce businesses of all sizes have access to their customers ordering behaviors and preferences; they just need to know how to use it.
Online retailers have changed the way people shop. In fact, 40% of males and 33% of females age 18-34; claim that they would buy everything online if possible. Furthermore, by 2020 U.S. online sales are forecasted to eclipse $523 billion. Not only are these new e-commerce avenues shaping the way consumers spend money, they are also directly impacting the traditional brick-and-mortar outlets. Places like Target and Wal-Mart have both made major online overhauls and rolled out different shipping options and packages for their customers.
College football and the NFL have a lot in common, but there are also some differences that impact the game on and off the field. Catching a ball with one foot in bounds is legal in the collegiate game, but would be an incompletion in the pros. This rule and others help determine practice, strategy, and execution. As fall approaches and teams take to the gridiron, the subtle differences will soon be on display on Saturdays and Sundays. There are similar subtleties between B2B and B2C e-commerce operations. Recognizing these differences and understanding what these different types of consumers value, prefer, and need can improve your e-commerce platform.
In the ongoing race to catch Amazon, Wal-Mart is evolving its “ShippingPass” program to include free two-day shipping. It was less than a year ago that the world’s largest brick-and-mortar retailer, along with a revamped online presence, tried its hand at a subscription-based e-commerce platform. Originally ShippingPass was going to offer unlimited, three-day shipping for a $50 annual fee.