Online shopping has become a universal part of everyday life, especially in the US. The increased availability of goods online with ever-faster shopping started with market disruptor Amazon. As other retailers work to catch up to Amazon, e-commerce continues to grow as an industry with no signs of slowing down as more consumers and businesses begin regular online shopping.
The 3PL industry has to continue working hard to keep up with e-commerce’s evolvement and adapt to the new trends.
The “Amazon Effect”
The undeniable effect that Amazon has imposed on the marketplace continues to drive e-commerce and omnichannel marketing. Anything Amazon does sends ripples that the rest of the retail world catches.
Amazon’s biggest impact is the availability of fast and/or free shipping. With nationwide warehouses and algorithms that predict what customers buy before they even log in, Amazon continues to dominate.
Companies that want to compete are adjusting their business models accordingly. Things like last-mile delivery and just-in-time-delivery (JIT) are two aspects that can make or break a company in e-commerce. Warehouse technology as well as technology for the entire supply chain is constantly being improved, leading to a better shipping process from start to finish.
As shoppers increasingly embrace e-commerce, 3PL companies must be able to offer their customers much the same as Amazon.
Nobody could have predicted the impact of an unknown virus from a small city in China would have on the entire world—and on e-commerce.
Government-mandated shutdowns and shelter-at-home orders immediately forced consumers to change the way they shopped. While grocery, drug and big-box stores stayed open, other non-essential companies were forced to close. Many businesses sent their office-based employees home to work.
With restrictions on nearly everything, homebound consumers had no choice but to increase their online shopping. Sales of everything from groceries, basic home supplies and dry goods to exercise equipment, books, toys, movies, and games have surged as those stuck at home make sure they have what they need. Revenues are up 37% and orders up 54% compared to last year. Market research firm Rakuten Intelligence reports that pending on e-commerce is up more than 30% from the first of March through mid-April this year from the same period last year.
Sales patterns are generally fairly predictable and stay constant throughout most of the year. The exceptions are usually holiday “rush” and seasonal periods. But COVID-19 saw shortages of basic foodstuffs, cleaning, and other household supplies due to panic-buying by those concerned with possible quarantine, forcing shoppers online.
Because 3PL can handle unexpected changes in sales and the marketplace, it’s this flexibility that has enabled companies to pivot when shoppers shifted to different types of products that began selling much faster than before.
Your E-Commerce Supply Chain Partner
E-commerce is a force to be reckoned with and only keeps getting bigger. 3PL Worldwide is ready to help with shipping, warehousing, delivery, and so much more. We also offer additional services such as packing, call center services, and bicoastal warehouse space in both Southern California and Connecticut. We’re based in Southern California, and we serve supply chain customers nationwide. Contact us today to learn more at (888) 456-1920 or use our online contact form.