How It All Starts?
As people have embraced social distancing as a way to slow the spread of the pandemic, there has naturally been a drop-off in brick-and-mortar shopping. That would seem to mean there would likely be an increase in online shopping as people turn to ecommerce to purchase the items they may have otherwise purchased in person. Upheaval is here, and e-commerce companies along with their supply-chain partners are going to have to think of new ways to respond.
By the Number
According to the Commerce Department, online U.S. retail sales surged to $200.7 billion in the second quarter, up 44.4% from the same period in 2019. “Retailers and logistics providers are ramping up hiring, with plans to bring on hundreds of thousands of workers to help process, package and ship online orders during the holiday peak,” Wall Street Journal.
Total e-commerce revenues for U.S. logistics providers are estimated to reach $53.3 billion this year, up 22.8% from 2019, as a result of the pandemic and as companies continue to outsource online fulfillment operations, according to research firm Armstrong & Associates Inc.
The Importance of Logistics & Supply Chain
Smart companies are recognizing that e-commerce will remain a major sales channel for packaged goods manufacturers and retailers. Investments in plant or process will help build future business. However, shifting to an advantageous e-commercial model will require more than a website and marketing. Companies need to look at the quality and reliability of their entire supply chain and how to minimize e-commerce order fulfillment costs. That includes logistics and transportation planning as well as multi-carrier parcel shipping strategy.
To succeed, companies will need to develop assets and expertise in these areas, or work with partners who can fill these gaps. For small e-commerce businesses, or vendor in many supply chains, it is time to reach out to others. Let your partners know how your operations are doing and ask how they are handling the crisis. All the relationships you have worked hard to perfect can pay off simply because you’ve been a good partner.