Even as the nation emerges slowly from its pandemic shadow, online retailers will continue to face delivery cost increases, capacity limits, and strict consumer pressures, according to a survey from regional e-commerce parcel carrier LaserShip.
But while many retailers have adopted strategies like buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) to offset those challenges, that new strategy brings its own hurdles. LaserShip’s study showed that retailers using BOPIS are still struggling to combat rising rates and capacity constraints, along with a new set of operational and logistics demands.
Vienna, Virginia-based LaserShip commissioned the study, “How Retailers Can Build Their Supply Chains to Gain an Unfair Share of the Growing E-Commerce Market,” with Hanover Research to survey over 100 c-suite, vice president, and director-level supply chain professionals at large retailers who spend at least $50 million on parcel annually.
“As the shift to e-commerce continues to accelerate, retailers need to leverage different solutions to overcome the new challenges they are facing to meet consumers’ expectations and drive growth,” Josh Dineen, Chief Commercial Officer of LaserShip, said in a release. “Retailers that can provide faster, reliable home delivery and diversify their carrier mix to ensure capacity and flexibility will gain an unfair share of the growing e-commerce market and build brand loyalty and customer lifetime value.”
According to results from the survey, national carriers are exacerbating these problems by applying surcharges and capacity limitations; 65% of online retailers said they have experienced an off-schedule price increase in the last 24 months, and 34% of retailers surveyed currently have their shipping capacity capped, with two-thirds of those facing caps between 10% and 49% of their total volume.
In response to those pandemic pressures, 87% of retailers have implemented BOPIS and click and collect, but that strategy has triggered new concerns such as lack of store availability (57%), strained capacity (56%), and staff challenges (54%), the survey showed.
Faced with those challenges, 49% of retailers said they have concerns about meeting consumers’ expectations of faster delivery, and 61% indicated that offering faster shipping options is their primary differentiating strategy to stay ahead of the competition.
As #ecommerce accelerates, retailers are having to balance consumer demands of free & faster home delivery against surcharges & capacity caps from national carriers. We asked 100+ #supplychain execs at large retailers how they plan to respond. Learn more. https://t.co/vCS0DZlN5n— LaserShip (@LaserShip) November 11, 2021