As we are in the midst of the holiday season, it should be apparent that some ordering and fulfillment operations are working better than others. The symptoms are clear, but the solutions may not be.
Take, for example, this excerpt from an ambitious article by Jett McCandless, CEO of project44:
“Common e-commerce challenges like shopping cart abandonment, increased cost of transportation and stock-outs [backorders] can make or break a retailer’s success during this busy final quarter of the calendar year. In fact, 44% of online shoppers abandon carts after examining total cost, shipping charges, and delivery timing and determining the retailer’s options are not the most competitive, according to the UPS 2015 report, State of the Online Shopper.” (Emphasis ours.)
You can read the entire article at the Chain Store Age blog. We found ourselves agreeing with several of the article’s points—for example:
- Inventory optimization is key. Retailers who can’t seamlessly execute omnichannel strategies will lose this holiday season to those who can. (We couldn’t agree more!)
- “E-commerce businesses that don’t produce delivery options, transparent timelines and tracking visibility on freight items are losing ground to competitors.” Indeed, many e-commerce businesses “lack the technology to accurately estimate freight transit times and pass that data through to online consumers during the buying process.” This is something that can be improved through having the right integrations.
- The need for real-time visibility into supply chain networks during peak season is a requirement for success. We discuss this in our own work with Allen Brothers.
We think the article appropriately highlights many of the struggles e-commerce businesses face today. But what, exactly, are the “tech tips” mentioned in the article’s title? They are common themes we talk about regularly: API connectivity and real-time data.