E-commerce businesses should be on the lookout for trends when developing their strategies for 2020. Some of these trends may not necessarily be new—perhaps, only intensifying year after year. Others may be surprises. Companies of all sizes can benefit by thinking about these trends and how they might affect a business, regardless of size.
It’s also important to lean on an e-commerce partner with significant experience weathering storms and accommodating change. Companies involved in the warehousing, packing, and shipping of goods are usually referred to as third-party logistics (3PL) providers, and they help companies large and small with any and all operations related to the movement of your product. You can outsource some or all your operations to a 3PL.
Let’s have a look at 4 of these consumer products trends:
The Multichannel Consumer
As digital shopping matures, consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies are making changes to interact more strategically with shoppers across any or all their preferred touchpoints.
This could mean not only creating or enhancing a separate, branded online store, but also leveraging a presence on other e-commerce platforms (i.e, Amazon Marketplace), rolling out mobile shopping apps, or developing subscription services. In doing so, companies have forged a wider range of paths to the consumer.
Brands and retailers are seeking to regain control of the customer experience. Social media, online word of mouth (i.e., review sites), and other initiatives deliver data that helps companies gain a deeper understanding of the consumer, informing investments in operations, business models (i.e, pricing) and distribution channel management.
The Rise of Niche Products and Private-Label Brands
Though private label products have been in the market for decades, retailers have only recently begun to successfully roll out sophisticated, high-quality products that can compete with entrenched, well-known brands.
Retailers of all sizes, including startups, are able to do this in part because of access to rich customer data and third-party insights, “that enable them to better understand customer channel preferences, brand affinities, and segmentations,” according to Mastercard Data & Services in a trend article.
Private label and startup brands can be rolled out faster than they had been thanks to e-commerce platforms. Notably, Amazon now offers over 120 private label brands.
Consumers Seek Leadership on Global Matters
In addition to governments and local communities, companies are increasingly being seen by consumers as the ones needing to lead the conversation on global issues. Consumers expect companies to embrace social responsibility, corporate citizenship and sustainability.
This may seem like a tall order to fill for a small e-commerce company, but it’s not impossible. Vendors can keep sustainability in mind when making sourcing decisions. Additionally, this can be used in marketing and messaging when promoting products. Further, even the packing and shipping materials can demonstrate a commitment to sustainability even if the product’s major components do not.
“Approximately 88 percent of consumers across the United States and the United Kingdom want companies to improve their environmental and social footprint,” according to Deloitte’s 2020 Consumer Products Industry Outlook.
Pressure on the Supply Chain
Supply chain leaders, including logistics companies, continue to feel tremendous pressure. “Increased demand volatility and shorter lead times from retailers have become major concerns, hurting service and inventory levels,” notes consulting firm BCG.
Companies of all sizes are challenged to keep inventories flat while ensuring that there is a constant flow of orders.
Additionally, constraints on trucking capacity are diminishing the ability to deliver customers’ orders on time and at a reasonable cost. As such, retailers, brands and e-commerce companies are looking to partners that can provide guidance on managing the pressure on logistics.
Utilize Taylored Services
Taylored Services is a fully integrated 3PL provider specializing in wholesale, retail, and direct to consumer unit fulfillment. The company operates 1.5 million square feet of warehouse and distribution space within proximity to the Gateway Ports of Los Angeles / Long Beach and Newark, NJ.
E-commerce businesses need a partner with significant investments in systems and technology and established, long-term relationships with other interim suppliers along a product’s “shipping journey.” By using Taylored, clients can track their merchandise at every step through and from the warehouse to multiple points of destination.
Warehousing and Distribution
Supply Chain Management
Value-Added Services and Merchandise Rework
Transportation Management Services
Working with a full-service, integrated logistics provider like Taylored Services not only helps e-commerce businesses of all sizes to service customers more efficiently but also allows such businesses to scale when needed without significant investment.
Author, Jake Wengroff writes about technology and financial services. A former technology reporter for CBS Radio, Jake covers such topics as security, mobility, e-commerce, and IoT.