Predicting the Unpredictable in Ecommerce

Posted by Maeghan Hurley on Mon, Nov 10, 2014 @ 10:21 AM

Predicting the Unpredictable in Ecommerce

With the boom in ecommerce sales during the holiday season of 2013, businesses, 3PLs, and shipping companies were overwhelmed by the high flux of orders coming in from online sales, and they were unable to meet consumers’ demands. They weren’t able to predict just how much that could change their business model. This year, know what to expect. Here are a few data points you can measure to know what ecommerce will look like this year.

Mobile Shopping

Shopping with smartphones, iPhones, and tablets is expected to rise this year, meaning more consumers will be shopping on the go rather than at the store. This will be sure to increase the amount of distribution each business should expect this year—especially around the holidays. With the introduction of the iPhone 6+, more consumers will be utilizing a larger screen, which just may be convenient enough to convince them to shop on the go.

Risk & Return: The Leery Customer

While mobile shopping is expected to increase, know that consumers will be more hesitant, in general, of ordering holiday presents because of last years shipping debacle. This very well might counterpoint the growth in mobile sales, so be sure to keep your roots in retail: brick and mortar stores aren’t going away anytime soon.

3PL Promises

With Amazon and UPS getting orders wrong, failing to send to the right destination, and generally mucking things up for consumers in 2013, you can bet that every distributor, 3PL, and shipping company will be trying to earn back the trust of businesses that need to get their product to various parts of the country. Promises will be made. But how, exactly, can you gauge whether a distributor will be able to meet shipping demands or not? Ensure that you work with a distributor who can reach any location and has ample resources to meet individual orders on time, accurately.

Processing Returns Through Ecommerce

With any rise in mobile shopping, you can bet you’ll see an increase in returns after the holiday season. You’ll have consumers who will need to return ecommerce orders to brick and mortar stores. You’ll have product shipped across the country and then returned to distribution hubs that may or may not be able to handle that flux of inventory. Are you and your 3PL prepared to handle that?


Preparing for the Holiday Shipping Crunch

Topics: 3PL, Holiday Shipping, Mobile Shopping, E-commerce