Before the advent of technology and cloud-based software solutions, most of the retailers survived on their own distribution centers, when products were procured and supplied to customers in bulk. This old model was popular and successful for a decade, however in the year 2000, with the immense popularity of internet shopping, many retailers were forced to have a presence online to cut-throat competition among various e-commerce brands. But ,at the same time, apart from being competitive with the product pricing they needed to focus on the speed and quality of the product delivery too. This is when, shipping companies were forced to come up with a new distribution model that would allow procure items in bulk and then break down silos, so that each customer’s order can be fulfilled by SKU. However, this required a real time inventory management software solution in place to gain visibility of all your products in real-time.
With the advent of internet shopping and the help of technology, fueled the logistics boom at exponential rates across the globe. How?
Key retail operations that are allowing shipping companies to grow:
1- Product delivery at customer’s doorstep
Internet shopping has initially captured the hearts of shopaholics by allowing them an ability to purchase for their favorite brands over the web and receive its delivery at their own convenience. This created a buzz in the online world, but at the same time retailers had to increase its supply chain, which automatically enforced shipping companies to expand their services and reach to almost any customer, anywhere.
2- Omnichannel delivery experience
As and when technology evolved, customer’s demand was ever-changing and they now prefer brands that allow them with flexible delivery options. Modern customers now expect that retailers should allow them to receive product delivery in every possibility they can- that includes Same-day-delivery, Next-day-delivery, Fixed-day- delivery. With customer’s ever-changing demands with their product delivery, automatically forced shipping companies to upgrade their supply chain method, which in turn allowed them to grow by helping retailers to provide their customers with product delivery as per their requirements.
According to 2014 Retail Outlook Survey by KPMG LLP- 70% of retail executives have adopted omnichannel strategies to respond to today’s online and mobile consumer. Therefore, shipping companies who are assisting retailers to provide their customers with the most seamless omnichannel delivery experiences- are gaining a huge advantage over other companies in the shipping industry.
3- Increase in retail sales
A report by eMarketer, the estimated total retail sales is expected to grow by 5.5% to reach $28.300 trillion.
While the above projections are encouraging for the shipping companies, it's important they upgrade to a more-robust and consistent supply chain and logistics mechanism. And, the easy availability and use of shipping management software, has surely changed the way shipping companies co-ordinate with retailers, following smooth supply chain processes.