WMS technology innovator, SnapFulfil, is already seeing a fulfillment year where companies still focussed on retail locations and outlets must be nimble enough to grow e-commerce operations to survive.
2020 saw the guillotine come down on many established brands and unless companies step up their online presence with an adequate operations portfolio to augment B2B with inevitable B2C and DTC requirements, they will face a similar fate.
SnapFulfil CEO North America, Don White, explains: “The consumer market has shifted to an e-commerce focus much more rapidly than any analysts anticipated, due to mass ‘stay at home’ orders during the pandemic and the subsequent closing of sizeable retail outlets/bricks and mortar shopping centers. Unfortunately, I don't see how – or truly why – a shift back will occur.
“However, I do think macro-economic improvements driven by the vaccination program and a subsequent return to more ‘normal’ economic times will improve consumer demand.
“Aside from the massive online shift, the rash of business closures, due to a year of economic strife, will also see the growth of smaller, more agile and dynamic 3PL service providers to fill the vacuum created. From a channel-specific standpoint, those operations will successfully chase new customers, but need to hit the ground running with stable and reliable e-commerce fulfillment operations.
“The more tech savvy elements of our supply chain industry should therefore expect and plan for a steep increase in demand for more agile and adaptable cloud-based solutions.”
Investing in cost effective infrastructure and technology that can quickly adjust and pivot with a business is more important than ever. The face of retail and shopping malls has changed for good and retailers will have to become genuinely omnichannel to provide the choice, value and convenience customers increasingly expect.
Therefore, traditional stores may not disappear but evolve to become micro-fulfilment hubs in terms of click & collect and product returns, which are both vital components of the e-commerce offer.
White adds: “Digital transformation is fundamental to survival going forward and as a driver of efficiency and accuracy will further streamline how e-commerce organisations operate, ultimately giving them a tangible competitive edge.
“Operational complexity means they will look to more robust and flexible software systems - such as advanced, cloud-based WMS that can benefit from the likes of remote implementation and self-configuration for even greater responsiveness, control and savings.”https://www.snapfulfil.com/