With 2017 almost around the corner, now is the right time to learn from all that has trended this year in the order fulfillment industry.
The rapidly growing shift from physical stores to online shopping and outsourcing order fulfillment to third party service providers does present a lot of opportunities.
However, the fast-paced environment means customers are now more demanding and as an online retailer, you need to stay on top of your game at all times.
Here are a few order fulfillment trends observed so far in 2016, that you can learn from:
Online ordering allows for a certain degree of customization that is not necessarily possible with physical purchases. This means that automated order fulfillment systems are growing in importance and are more valuable than ever.
Cloud computing has been an important aspect of order fulfillment service providers this year and according to the trends, it will continue to be integrated in the supply chain right up until the product arrives at the customer’s doorstep.
Rapidly Growing Global Demand
As the internet age advances, the world is getting smaller. This means that cross border e-commerce is making adaptation to larger distances an important factor for supply and delivery channels. Order fulfillment companies need to be prepared to handle orders from entirely different parts of the world. This also means dealing in a variety of currencies. Accepting currencies like Bitcoin is being widely accepted.
Competition Has Been At An All Time High
For online retailers that sell the same products, pricing is no longer the only differentiating factor. Staying ahead of the competition now means offering better shipping, timely deliveries within the right cost and time. This growing competition has given birth to regional distribution centers that are strategically located to enhance the number of deliveries within a given area.
Manufacturers Coming In
As the e-commerce environment has lower barriers to entry a number of manufacturers are entering the market to cater directly to customers. This means your supplier could actually be your competitor and have an upper hand by offering by lowering prices while skipping the entire distribution channel.
Tackling this issue requires creativity. Online retailers are now on their toes looking for order fulfillment companies that have distribution centers located close to their target audiences so that they can offer competitive pricing and stay in the game.