The shopping habits of consumers are ever-changing. Sellers are always running to make their products more accessible, like adding online stores, developing mobile apps, selling on multiple marketplaces and social platforms, offering discounts, subscription programs, and more. This recent trend has given way to changes in eCommerce order fulfillment operations.

Various strategies are adopted to satisfy consumers’ expectations and get an advantage over critical competitions. According to a survey by Saddle Creek in 2020, around 86% of merchants selling online utilize more than one eCommerce channel. The five most prominent challenges faced by sellers presently include transportation, inventory management, scalability, profitability and order processing speed & accuracy. Looking ahead, almost 69% of the sellers plan to increase sales channels in the upcoming 1 to 2 years.

eCommerce order fulfillment operations in 2020 will be a significant differentiator for organizations seeking a competitive edge more now than ever. With advanced technology and fulfillment strategies, here are five ways the retailers distinguish themselves from the competition.

  • Automation and Chatbots

Automation technologies will linger and help organizations to raise overall productivity. To streamline order fulfillment and internal processes, investing in automation is the best choice. Although the cost might be on the upper side, the potential cost savings down the road will be significant. Amazon’s fulfillment centers use bots to improve overall shipping duration, make the most inventory processes, and aid associates in many ways. Robotics will become essential for organizations like how various technologies are recognized to play a vital role in automating specific workflows.

  • Real-time Data

Real-time Data

As the eCommerce industry continues to grow, more marketplaces, logistics service providers, shipping carriers, third-party payments, consumers, and other stakeholders come into the eCommerce environment. Real-time data plays a significant role in the organization’s demand planning, order fulfillment processes, shipping processes, and many more. The use of Analytics for real-time data can provide better insights into strategies and decision-making in the warehouse and the marketplace.

  • Venturing Into More Marketplaces

Venturing Into More Marketplaces

The eCommerce market faces an exponential growth rate. A major part of this growth is a result of the increase in online marketplaces. They let organizations tap into a larger potential customer pool, irrespective of domestic and international locations. Thus more retailers are gathering to these channels to increase the sales. By going up beyond brick-and-mortar stores and leveraging online marketplaces, the retailers can drift towards success. It is possible because their products are made accessible to countless customers regardless of their location.

  • Countering Costs

Countering Costs

The financial health of the organization will be the main focus in 2020. Minimizing the order fulfillment operations cost and streamlining logistics processes with the help of technology can pretty much help to counter the rising costs. It also helps to preserve margin and also create fresh revenue opportunities. Some of the opportunities like selling value-added services or offering free or reduced delivery cost like one and two-day shipping, next day delivery, etc. can be offered to customers. By discovering innovative methods to give value-added services to customers, companies can stand out and stay ahead of the regular competition. It can also improve customer relationships and increase overall revenue.

  • Using Emerging Technologies

In addition to automation, there are emerging technologies like augmented reality (AR) has found its usage in the eCommerce realm. It has made customers try on makeup or clothes virtually, before purchasing, at the ease of their homes. Even eCommerce companies apply these technologies to improvise the operations in the warehouse. It can help automate internal processes and facilitate more intelligent, dynamic decision-making. It saves productive time and improves accuracy in the warehouse.

For retailers participating in such a high competition and growth arena, it’s essential to stay attuned to the key trends that are currently shaping the industry. By examining effective order fulfillment processes, and increasing supply chain visibility, the opportunities for improvement and innovation will remain crucial to organizational success.

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