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What keeps them up at night

Forbes reported in December that 51% of Americans prefer online shopping.  Here are some of the recent trends and stats around order fulfillment.    

  • Ecommerce grew by 16% from ‘16-’17
  • The grocery segment is predicted to grow by nearly 30% annually (Packaged Facts)
  • Even these growth rates are expected to further accelerate as brands embrace voice search and omni-device options
  • Collaboration and personalization are becoming SOP
  • Amazon shipped over 5B items via Prime from a 30% increase in warehouse space, 6000 trailers and 32 airplanes
  • Target succeeded in shipping over 70% of November and December online orders from stores, allowing for reduced fulfillment center staffing
  • Cyber Monday was the biggest US online shipping day ever at $5B

Yet, only 8% of retailers feel they have mastered omnichannel according to RetailDIVE.  Inventory challenges as well as conquering the last mile continue as priorities in 2018.

The graph above from EBN shows the biggest point of friction today to be the cost of shipping, with 17% of executives noting it as their #1 challenge.  But inventory management across channels, fluctuating consumer demand, optimizing the online sales process and the varied delivery options all follow closely.  In his recent FoodDIVE article, Jeff Wells puts it best, “even though e-commerce remains a major opportunity, it is still very costly and hard to profit off right now.”