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Preparing for Winter Shipping What Will This Year Look Like

Preparing for Winter Shipping: What Will This Year Look Like?

Peak shipping season is just around the corner and there’s no better time for companies to start preparing for cold weather and a more active market. But like everything else this year, 2020 presents new challenges in the face of COVID-19 including market challenges and unpredictable consumer trends. It’s never been more important for organizations to be ready for this year’s shipping surge.

What should you keep in mind while preparing for peak season?

Explosive E-commerce Growth

In the age of COVID-19, shopping online has never been easier, quicker, or safer. After years of eating away in-store competition, e-commerce is going to expand even further through the end of 2020. In fact, this year is shaping up to be record-breaking for e-commerce retailers across the board, and it’s not hard to see why.

With a renewed consumer focus on e-commerce, supply chains across industries will be put to the test. Order fulfillment, secured capacity, and effective, efficient inventory management should be priorities for any organization looking to weather the supply surge.

Slower Shipping Speeds

With a dramatic spike in consumer activity surrounding the end of year holidays, the shipping market is sure to be more saturated than at any point in the year. This will inevitably lead to slower shipping speeds and an increased need for the right partner to carry your supply chain over the finish line.

What’s also important is mitigating customer frustration through clear and open communication, constant market awareness, and realistic goal setting.

Supply Chain Resiliency

This year’s peak shipping season will call for more than a ragtag group of suppliers and carriers. Building flexibility into your supply chain takes incorporating multiple partners all working in tandem to provide your organization with agility, accuracy, and adaptability in the face of unpredictable trends and clients.

Building a resilient supply chain will help mitigate the issues an aggressive market can bring. This means having a vast and diverse pool of vendors, manufacturers, shipping partners, etc. The more options you have, the easier it will be to stay flexible. The better the partner by your side, the smoother your season will go.

 

Having a reliable logistics partner by your side is essential during this time. PLS Logistics has the capacity and nearly 30 years of expertise in transportation management. Plan your winter shipping ahead with a free freight quote!

How E-Commerce Has Changed Due To the Coronavirus

The recent months were extremely transforming for many industries. For some, the effects were damaging. But some industries have flourished during the pandemic, like the e-commerce industry. Many small businesses that were inclined to locally selling their goods, or were focused on a physical store, experienced tough times. However, ones with wider customer coverage and a strong online presence seemed to grow their online sales even more.

How has the coronavirus impacted e-commerce customer behavior?

In fact, coronavirus has greatly contributed to e-commerce businesses and changed the way people shop. It all depends on the type of business. For example, bread baking machines were the top-growing category in online sales in the U.S. during April 2020, while the most declining one was luggage cases and swimwear. The majority of businesses that had an established online presence, or quickly reformed to set up on the web, were more successful in maintaining or growing their sales volumes than brick-and-mortar stores.

In the U.S. alone, online retailers’ year-over-year revenue growth is up 68% in April 2020, which is much more than the holiday season peak sales metrics. The main insight to take out of the pandemic’s impact is that it’s not going anyway. Despite the majority of stores are now available for visiting, shoppers don’t rush to get back to physical shopping. In a lockdown, customers have developed and adopted new shopping behaviors and patterns that could be the new normal moving forward, even outside of the pandemic.

According to a study on the coronavirus impact on U.S. E-Commerce, 74.6% of shoppers will avoid shopping at malls and shopping centers even after the lockdown, while 52.3% would pass by the shops in general. 44% of the U.S. shoppers are buying more online in May 2020, and 68% of shoppers are expecting to buy essential goods online.

What are the main e-commerce tips for the long run?

While optimizing your online presence was a useful strategy before the pandemic, now it is a must for surviving the current market environment. Retailers should look for more opportunities and technologies to attract and retain their online customers. Now, seamless shopping experience matters more than ever. Providing your customers with frictionless platform navigation, shopping, and service is key to hitting the mark.

It is crucial to monitor changes in customer habits and shopping patterns, and react to them accordingly. Account security and a personalized, smooth shopping experience is believed to be the main focus of e-commerce businesses to enhance their sales and customer retention. A retailer landscape is already changing, and these shifts are to stay for the long run.

5 Ways a TMS Supports Omni-Channel Commerce

Having a powerful, scalable transportation management system (TMS) is necessary for effective transportation operations. Omni-channel commerce is much more difficult to handle than everyday operations from a transportation perspective, and visibility into the supply chain is the key to success. A TMS can provide detailed reports to improve omni-channel functionstms for omnichannel ecommerce

A TMS with advanced reporting features will be able to:

Send alerts regarding disruptions

A TMS provides automated alerts when a shipment is delayed, damaged or unable to be delivered. Because of this alert, a customer can be notified of a delay or a new product source can be identified and dispatched immediately.

Track total transportation spend

TMS software has to ability to aggregate and finds the total cost of transportation for a company, which typically exceed the expectations. This information will allow a company to begin making improvements and track progress.

Provide on-time delivery metrics

A TMS provides on-time performance results to a DC, store or supplier. This information helps to determine where inefficiencies arise in logistics processes. It can also help uncover the most efficient routes and what combination of DCs and stores will enhance service such as the buy online, pick up in store model.

Create inbound shipment visibility

TMS software offers real-time information on inbound shipments. This allows a company to prepare for unloading/loading to keep operations moving smoothly and to plan appropriately for labor needs.

Reduce shipping costs

A TMS creates cost-saving opportunities, first through visibility, which allows identification of the problem, and then through tracking the progress of the solution. A TMS helps find the most operative lanes, consolidates shipments, picks out the most productive carriers, and even helps keep inventory moving smoothly through warehouses.

Omni-channel logistics is extremely difficult to manage and will only get more difficult as e-commerce grows in popularity. The reports a TMS provides are invaluable for transportation optimization, and in turn, customer satisfaction.

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