Why This The Golden Age Of E-Commerce Fulfilment Is Just Now Starting…
Considering that 87% of all “first world” consumers have made a purchase through the web over the last year, one may be led to believe that online retail has reached a point of maturation. The reality, however, is that this couldn’t be further from the truth. There are still tremendous opportunities for retailers who either currently sell online, or who are looking to develop an omni-channel order fulfilment strategy via the Internet.
A recent cover story published by Inbound Logistics, one of the industry’s leading periodicals, illustrates just how under-developed the world of e-commerce fulfilment really is. They found that only 10% of all retailers are currently implementing an e-commerce or omni-channel fulfilment strategy with success. About 60% are still trying to figure out how they should move forward, and 30% have either outsourced their e-commerce fulfilment, or have no strategy whatsoever.
Why Is The Development Of A Sound E-Commerce Fulfilment Strategy So Important?
Worldwide last year, B2C e-commerce sales were over $1 trillion. While this figure is impressive on it’s own, what’s even more eye opening is the fact that online sales are set to increase by another 20% ($200 billion) in the coming year. And as e-commerce continues to fundamentally transform the way retailers sell their products, the need to develop and execute a flawless e-commerce fulfilment plan will also continue to rise.
Part of the reason why a sound order fulfilment strategy will be so crucial to retailers in the coming years has to do with industry competition. In today’s ultra-competitive e-commerce environment, there is little room for error. For every one company that fails to deliver on its service promise to customers, four more will rise who have the systems and infrastructure required to take their place. These new market entrants have an unprecedentedly high chance of success, primarily because they can quickly and cheaply reach new customers through the world wide web.
The other major reason why all retailers must incorporate an e-commerce or omni-channel fulfilment strategy is that consumers have increasingly high demands and expectations. It’s no longer just enough for a retailer to provide exceptional customer service, or a superior shopping experience, or a great selection of goods. Instead, what will truly differentiate the winners from the losers in the retail environment will be their ability to quickly, reliably, and cost-effectively execute order fulfilment. This isn’t to say that customers will no longer value the classic elements of the purchasing experience, but rather, they will value these pieces in addition to the flawless delivery of their goods.
How Can Retailers Capitalise On This Opportunity?
Today there is a tremendous opportunity for retailers who do not currently have an e-commerce fulfilment strategy, or who have one that is ineffective. The average time it takes a medium or large-size company to implement a broad, technology-driven change is around 2 years, and retailers who are able to reduce this transition period can leverage that agility into a dominant market position. Clearly this is something that all companies desire, yet most remain unsure of how to begin the process of change.
It is the opinion of National Products Fulfilment that ultimately, outsourcing e-commerce fulfilment to a third-part logistics provider will be the superior choice for most businesses. The reason behind this is that a truly outstanding 3PL will be able to help the retailer to quickly implement a proven and effective fulfilment strategy. This third-party provider will have the tools and technology required to integrate their systems to the retailer’s POS. They will also have the warehousing and order management capabilities that the retailer requires to streamline the e-commerce fulfilment process. The result is a best-in-class logistics solution for the retailer, without the expense, time-commitment, or managerial commitment inherent in developing order fulfilment in-house.
If you’d like to talk with National Product Fulfilment about the ways we can help your business to quickly execute a highly effective e-commerce fulfilment strategy, give us a call today at: 1300 8820 318. You can also send us an email by clicking here.