E-Commerce and New Challenges

Keeping online inventories as close as possible to their customers through the strategic location of emerging distribution centers, micro-distribution centers and dark stores is currently one of the most important challenges for companies.

Monday, March 22, 2021

Due to the change in consumer habits, the restrictions imposed by the pandemic and the popularization of online commerce, companies are busy optimizing their distribution channels for Internet sales.

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Until a little over a year ago, companies that already had their online sales process fine-tuned were in the minority, but, with the advent of the new commercial reality that emerged in an accelerated manner due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the commercial sector has had to reinvent itself to survive the crisis.

Shifting to a customer-focused distribution system and fully automating their distribution locations to be better positioned to meet consumer needs are some of the objectives of retail companies working to adapt their operations to the new commercial reality.

See "E-Commerce: Trends at the Beginning of 2021"

Research on the future of distribution, produced by Blue Yonder in the last quarter of 2020, indicates that the use of pop-up distribution centers (DCs), "dark stores" (online-only) and micro-distribution centers will double as retailers turn to customer-driven commerce.

A Peru-retail.com publication reviews that "... retail executives are turning to automation to improve their retail supply chains and give them more control over their online shopping experience. In addition, retailers recognize that pop-up DCs, micro-distribution centers and dark stores can help them keep online inventory as close to consumers as possible, allowing them to fulfill orders quickly and cost-effectively."

Also see "How do Purchasing Intentions Evolve?"

According to the article, it forecasts that "... over the next 2 to 3 years, retailers' use of pop-up DCs will double from 12% of current networks to an expected 26%; dark stores will double from a small base from 6% of current networks to 12%; and microdistribution centers will nearly double from 15% to 27%."

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