In 2020, as e-commerce continues to grab more of the market share, consumers are also expecting more from online markets. Now that consumers expect products as soon as the next day, or in some cases, the same day, e-commerce businesses are taking a look at their internal processes to find ways to further automate procedures in various areas, such as fulfillment. Product manufacturing is the core of most businesses and product distribution, while just as important, requires a whole different set of skills, plus considerable overhead with additional labor and the headache of warehouse leasing and maintenance. So, it’s no surprise that in the past decade, with the influx of e-commerce making leaps and bounds in the way consumers prefer to shop, the third-party logistics industry, according to Global Insights.com, exceeded $1 trillion in 2019 and is estimated to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 9% between 2020 and 2026.
Strategies for e-commerce fulfillment
Trending e-commerce fulfillment business models in 2020 suggest 3PL service providers, such as Phase V Fulfillment will increase your bottom line, strengthening businesses by implementing more strategies to improve shipping rates and provide consumers transparency throughout their ordering and shipping process. Here are a few ways to set your business up to grow by adopting advanced technology in the digital age.
E-commerce fulfillment boosted by robots
While nobody is saying that every activity of e-commerce fulfillment will be done by artificial intelligence in the form of robots, automatic guided vehicles (AGVs) and autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) soon, these technologies are getting a lot of attention as fulfillment centers look to find solutions to the labor shortage and increasing turnover rates in supply chain operations. Robotic lift trucks are impacting the fulfillment industry for tasks that involve picking up, transporting, and delivering pallets. Improving dependability and productivity, robotic lift trucks enhance human performance, encouraging a human/robot partnership or “cobotics,” if you will, to overcome labor shortages and render repetitive activities, along with complicated value-added functions more efficient.
Augmented reality technology adapted in warehouses
Warehousing Education and Research Council (WERC) panelist, Aaron Wilker predicts fulfillment centers will start using “more automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS) and augmented reality visual headsets” to increase accuracy and speed e-commerce fulfillment processes, by minimizing the number of times products are touched by laborers. In this way, AR continues to help automate e-commerce fulfillment, meaning increased productivity and sales. Some AR technology is already implementing online shopping by allowing consumers to virtually try on eyeglasses, clothes, makeup, and other products before purchasing them. These value-added functions improve customer experience which translates to a major target for online retailers in growing their brands.
Real-time data improves transparency
Phase V’s e-commerce fulfillment platform will continue to improve transparency with 24/7 real-time inventory updates. Clients can set up inventory alerts from our data-driven, user-friendly dashboard. Low inventory alerts are just one task Phase V’s technology can assist you with to avoid embarrassing “out-of-stock” and “backorder” messages that can cause customers to abandon their carts and find items elsewhere, costing not only loss of sales, but also loss of customers. Phase V’s tech platform can also help plan strategies for the future. With more shoppers, marketplaces, payment methods and other services entering the e-commerce ecosphere, our software can help businesses perform data analysis to better predict the planning and logistics required for upcoming seasons.
Increasing Marketplaces Offer More Exposure
With marketplace platform providers predicted to reach $40.2 billion in revenues by 2022, more online marketplaces are gearing up to offer businesses more exposure to potential customers while expanding consumer marketplace options, exponentially. Google is planning to launch its marketplace with Shopping Actions that possess the potential to extend the reach of retailers globally. These marketplaces hold the potential to extend brick-and-mortar retailers’ customer bases, accessing many more customers and growing their brands worldwide. As far as coordinating various online portals, Phase V provides e-commerce fulfillment for all of your marketplace outlets. With all of your products packed and shipped from the same location, we expedite shipping and handling processes, increasing sales in the long run.
Given that e-commerce revenues are predicted to increase significantly in the coming years, countered with salary increases, innovative technology system installations and more consumer demands for faster deliveries, businesses that want to get ahead of the curve in 2020 should consider partnering with a 3PL provider for all of their fulfillment operations. At Phase V, we work closely with your vision to create and customize fulfillment plans that meet your business needs. We’re ready to help businesses leave their increasing e-commerce fulfillment sales to Phase V’s expert logistics teams so that you can focus on your core initiatives. We can help you save money, increase your sales and grow your brand with our continuing commitment to finding more and better ways to streamline your fulfillment processes! Come grow at Phase V in 2020!