More than 60 percent of companies have yet to fully implement their e-commerce strategies despite recognizing the importance of doing so, according to a DHL Supply Chain study released Tuesday.
The study, "The E-Commerce Supply Chain: Overcoming Growing Pains," surveyed more than 900 decision makers responsible for logistics or supply chain management and e-commerce from all major industry sectors, including retail, consumer goods, life sciences, high-tech, automotive, engineering, and manufacturing. Researchers found that 70 percent of business-to-consumer companies and 60 percent of business-to-business companies are still working toward full implementation of their e-commerce strategies even though 70 percent overall rated e-commerce as "very important" or "extremely important" to their business.
Keeping pace with fast-changing customer demands is one of the biggest challenges companies face in managing those e-commerce strategies, the study authors said.
"E-commerce is a primary driver of business growth. Companies know they can no longer afford to operate without a comprehensive omnichannel strategy that develops a deep personal relationship with each individual customer, but many are at a loss for how to continue to keep up with customer demands," Jim Gehr, president, retail, DHL Supply Chain, North America said in a statement announcing the findings. "Both B2B (61 percent) and B2C (65 percent) respondents rated e-commerce as having the biggest effect on customer retention and satisfaction, and the number is only expected to increase in the next [three to five] years. That is why it is mission critical for supply chains to provide greater predictability, flexibility, and speed to continuously maximize service levels."
The study also found that B2C companies' e-commerce offerings have caught up to their B2B counterparts, and that both groups are beginning to implement hybrid approaches to e-commerce distribution and fulfillment that involve both in-house and outsourced methods. The study showed that: