Over recent years, distributors have been confronted with growing complexity, rising consumer expectations, and an increasingly competitive global market. With the pandemic and the dominance of e-commerce, the changes have further accelerated. Hence, bringing with them unprecedented levels of digitalization, and forcing companies to completely review their e-commerce supply chain processes.

Managing expectations: the challenge for the e-commerce of tomorrow

These days, consumers can choose a product and buy it in just a few clicks. Purchasing is simpler than ever, and the customer experience is complex and rich. The customer journey can be personalized, and, where the product is expensive, the customer’s relationship with the brand has never been so meaningful.

In the pursuit of convenience, customers are offered an ever-growing range of options and have complete control over many steps, from research to delivery. The consumer no longer goes to the product. Instead, it is the retailer’s responsibility to anticipate customer behavior and stock products in the right place to respond quickly to demand.

As a result, the supply chain needs to be efficient and agile to rise to the challenge and respond to demand while staying profitable. As the spine of any business, the supply chain is, more than ever, the key to providing the best customer experience.

According to a Havas and Paris Retail Week study, 89% of experts believe that customers put faster delivery as their top priority. 

Furthermore, 82% estimate that consumers expect greater flexibility for online purchases (try before you buy, free delivery, easier returns, etc.).

Supply chain management is all about controlling lead times and delivery options. Therefore has become one of the greatest challenges for retailers. According to the same study, 40% of retailers have begun searching for the right partners to increase their logistics capacity. Also, 40% are looking to develop alternative delivery solutions.

To have the right product available and delivered on time, e-retailers must completely reshape their supply chain. Eventually, will result in increasing customer experience.

 

The acceleration of digitalization

So, how can businesses build a robust supply chain capable of adapting to a constantly evolving market and fluctuating demand while staying profitable?

The best response is to be able to anticipate demand and therefore gain both visibility and control. Faced with the recent unprecedented world events, classic models and methods no longer seem to be up to the task. It is time instead to adopt new methods and tools to tackle this increased volatility and complexity.

Some 47% of supply chain executives still use Excel for their materials planning. Certainly these methods almost reached their useful limit in March 2020.

Today, new technology has made it possible to be more prepared and anticipate all this instability in the supply chain.

Digital innovation has become a true vehicle for process optimization and, therefore, for business growth. It is time for businesses to accept the new reality. Esentially to develop new processes, implement new tools. It is vital anticipate trends and align themselves with new consumer expectations – the right product, in the right place, in the right quantity.

 

Flowlity helps businesses to optimize their e-commerce supply chain. The race has already begun in the retail sector; an efficient supply chain will be a differentiating factor in guaranteeing the optimal customer experience.