Less than a month into the New Year and the e-retailer and marketplace announces plans for three additional U.S. fulfillment centers.
Consumers expect their online orders to arrive quickly. And those expectations are only rising as more merchants offer same-day and next-day delivery.
But getting a shopper’s order to her doorstep quickly isn’t easy—especially as a shrinking labor pool is making it harder to add warehouse staff during peak periods. To keep pace with consumers’ expectations, some retailers are adding automated processes to their warehouses that can increase order throughput and staff productivity without adding more employees.
Retailers are also reassessing their order management systems, which are a critical step in the online retail process. Those systems are increasingly important because what used to follow a fairly straight line—when an order gets placed on a retailer’s site that information is sent to the warehouse where the order is picked, packed and handed off to a delivery carrier—has become complex as online merchants take orders from more venues, such as online marketplaces, for example, and rely on multiple suppliers to drop-ship the product to the consumer.
Another way retailers are improving their fulfillment operations is by working with logistics companies that can store, pick, box and ship orders for them. This sponsored three-part special report explores the hardware, software and services that e-retailers can deploy to accelerate their fulfillment operations.