What will be important to e-commerce companies in 2021? We’ve put together a list of three key opportunities that need to be considered for such companies to thrive.
As an e-commerce company, you cannot do it alone. You may have hired consultants to help you with product sourcing or marketing, but logistics remains a key component of the e-commerce experience. Consider third-party logistics (3PL) providers to help with any and all operations related to the movement of your products. You can outsource some or all your operations to a 3PL.
To thrive, or even survive, in 2021, e-commerce companies should consider the following.
Controlling the Customer Experience Wherever the Customer May Be
By now, most e-commerce companies are fully aware that there simply cannot be a single channel through which their customers buy their products.
E-commerce companies understand the need to interact more strategically with shoppers across any or all of shoppers’ preferred touchpoints—at any point in their customer’s journey. Such companies need to not only “go where the customers are” but also ensure that the shopping and checkout experience is seamless regardless of platform or device.
A presence on a single marketplace may lead to a presence on several marketplaces. A newly developed Web store will continue to need updates with additional apps and plugins. E-commerce companies that succeed will continually seek and refine the touchpoints and experiences through which their customers discover, shop, purchase and return to buy more.
Increased Data and Analytics, and How to Use Them Effectively
Harnessing customer data to inform marketing and product decisions is nothing new. However, in 2021, there will be even more data to consider.
Learning how to leverage myriad data sources can be dizzying for companies of any size. The digital selling experience generates a flood of behavioral information on different customer segments, including browsing paths, products viewed, shopping carts, conversions, loyalty and transactions.
This data could be directly from a company’s online store but there is likely access to data provided by a third-party marketplace or app—which may not necessarily be correlated to the data of the main online sales channel.
The challenge for today’s e-commerce companies will be in choosing and leveraging the right data. “However, even a wealth of data from different sources won’t guarantee success for CPG [consumer packaged goods] brands on its own,” notes Mastercard Data & Services, in a trend article. “Companies need strategies that can help them use this data to inform their marketing and product development.”
With powerful analytical platforms and a clear strategy, e-commerce companies can use rich data sets to reach and engage consumers in memorable ways that separate their brands from the competition.
Pressure on the Supply Chain and Logistics
Consumers expect a product to be in stock and to be shipped to them immediately, with zero delays. The illusion of seamless customer experience across all touchpoints challenges e-commerce companies to serve customers who may have unrealistic expectations.
As such, 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.
Additionally, constraints on trucking capacity are diminishing the ability to deliver customers’ orders on time and at a reasonable cost. Therefore, retailers, brands and e-commerce companies are looking to partners that can provide guidance on managing the pressure on logistics.
There often exists a tug of war between customer experience (“I want it now”) and operational efficiency (“I want it at the best possible price”). Consequently, the supply chain and logistics components have become part of the customer experience—this trend will continue to intensify in 2021 and beyond. Those e-commerce companies that can strike the right balance between managing costs and delivering superior customer experience will thrive.
Look to 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 close 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.