e-Commerce “Fast Shipping” Getting Faster

Better and faster delivery of e-commerce orders is expected by consumers. And these shoppers don’t want to pay more for the rapid delivery. This will show up as the picking, packing, and shipping operations of e-commerce vendors are technologically preparing for the 2017 holiday season.

Business Seasonality

U.S. e-commerce sales growth continues to outpace stores. By December 2017, according to the U.S. Commerce Department, these sales are projected to be about 15% of all sales. Not all e-commerce sales are equal in importance, and even fewer warrant the attention and energy in preparing for the seasonality of shopping. Retail wholesale holiday surges come at a different time than the direct consumer holiday surge. Distribution center handling wholesale orders are busiest from September through November, getting products to retail stores in advance of the shopping seasons. The warehouse managing e-commerce direct to consumer orders, meet order demand with rapid delivery during the month of December.

Companies are leveraging pop-up fulfillment locations to accommodate their e-commerce orders. This trend emerged in 2016, and is expected it to continue as companies strive to find the best possible ways to fill e-commerce orders from warehouses and distribution centers. Core fulfillment centers are considering opening a smaller, regional facilities to manage a portion of the fastest-moving items to accommodate holiday shoppers and meet their expectations for fast shipping.

Distribution Center managers are concerned with how to even out the ebbs and flows of their companies’ e-commerce fulfillment operations. To achieve balance throughout the year and establish a more stable workforce; particularly when managers have upwards of 100 temporary employees helping during the holidays. Increasingly there is an effort to level-load orders throughout the year to offset at least some of that temporary labor challenge.

According to research by Boston Consulting Group, as many as 1.2 million robots will be utilized in U.S. manufacturing facilities by the year 2025. With the help of automation, the boost in productivity, contribute to cost savings in a significant way. Still the proper use of warehouse space can prove to be instrumental in meeting the rapid shipping requires in the e-commerce space.

The Warehouse Robotics Market is expected to register a CAGR of 7.3% till 2020 as e-commerce vendors large and small increase investments on warehouse automation technology. The effort to bring down expenses is vital for young online retailers who are eager to develop in-house distribution technologies to save on costs and to reduce time of delivery.

Order fulfillment solutions must:

  • Maximize order picking productivity
  • Be flexible and easily change
  • Utilize cutting edge technology

Implementing these solutions  by Q3, 2017 will ensure that the holiday (Q4 2017) will be profitable and create happy customers.

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