Conventional retailers and ecommerce shipping retailers have undergone a great transition over the last ten years. Their supply chains and the market overall looks nothing like what it once had. For instance, consumers have much greater expectations for small parcel shipping from ecommerce businesses than they ever have before. Additionally, ecommerce growth and changing demographics are dictating supply chain management, distribution, and fulfillment strategies. The question becomes, however, where will these parcel shipping and ecommerce transitions take us in the future? Here are some trends that are likely to be seen for the retail and parcel shipping industries through the rest of the year and beyond:
- Omnichannel: Multiple channels will continue to be used when consumers shop. Online and stores will still both be used by most shoppers. Traditional retailers and ecommerce stores will be used in combination, as will parcel shipping and pickup options. The industry will still involve an omnichannel approach for most shippers.
- Amazon: The Amazon effect has had an enormous impact on the ecommerce and parcel shipping industry. It has altered consumer beliefs and driven change in distribution, fulfillment, and supply chain management strategies of ecommerce and traditional retailers across market. Their success will continue. Amazon will continue to expand distribution networks and capitalize on shipping technology for delivery to further solidify their place at the top of the ecommerce and parcel shipping industry.
- Traditional Retail Struggles: Because ecommerce and parcel shipping retail has become so lucrative, a lot of traditional brick-and-mortar stores are failing to capitalize on this market. There are opportunities these stores could take advantage of even though different sectors are impacted differently. Ecommerce growth and parcel shipping from these traditional retailers has yet to take off.
- Cities: Retailers will need to alter the distribution and fulfillment aspects of their supply chain management techniques to adapt to consumer behaviors and create direct-to-consumer delivery systems for big cities. Most Americans live in or around major cities, and the urban environment requires different parcel shipping supply chain strategies for ecommerce and different store planning for traditional retail.
- Ecommerce Growth: Traditional retail is still being dominated by ecommerce. Each year there is continued growth in ecommerce and parcel shipping sales over traditional retail sales. This trend is likely to continue. Ecommerce growth and parcel shipping retail options aren’t going anywhere. Ecommerce burst into the industry and has continued to alter supply chains and industry practices. This is one parcel shipping trend that isn’t going anywhere.
- Stores: The upcoming Gen Z buyers will start to return to traditional retail venues over ecommerce and parcel shipping. The ability to test and see the quality of the objects they’re buying matters to these shoppers. Retail outlets will have to monitor these shoppers to plan their supply chain management strategies according to both ecommerce or parcel shipping trends and brick-and-mortar performance.
- Store Pickup: Traditional retail will see ecommerce growth but not parcel shipping. Purchasing online and picking up in store will become more common to increase convenience and offset shipping costs. Distribution and supply chain management models will adjust for this inventory strategy.
- Shipping Tech and Parcel Auditing: Shipping technology in the form of delivery devices like drones or automated trucks, warehouse management and robotics, and shipping software will grow to improve parcel shipping processes. Parcel shipping companies will also more widely utilize parcel auditing services. Parcel auditing will improve performance of ecommerce retailers, and using parcel auditing will save money shipping for ecommerce shipping expenses.
The retail industry is split between traditional retail and ecommerce and parcel shipping models. These are some likely trends for the next ten years in the retail industry. Small parcel shipping ecommerce retailers can benefit from shipping tech and parcel auditing services, and traditional retailers could see improvement in ecommerce with online orders, but in-store pickup. There are positives and negatives for both sides, but the industry will continue to experience changes as there are developments in shipping technology and consumer demands continue to shift.