Before the Internet existed, business logistics companies lived in a fairly static and predictable world. Supply and demand of services required could be gauged by familiar measuring techniques. Then along came the Internet and online shopping, and the whole game changed.
In 2013, the number of US citizens buying merchandise online was over 191 million. This figure is predicted to be surpassed in 2015 when estimates of around the 200 million mark would seem easily attainable. It would be tough to find two more complementary bedfellows than online shopping and the Internet. With unlimited choice, competitive prices and a simple, no-effort method of buying almost any product, it’s no surprise it has taken off in the way it has.
The advent of online shopping has changed the dynamics of the whole retail experience into a situation where the customer has far more control. Losing the confidence of online customers is very easy; they will abandon their digital shopping carts and click away for the slightest reason. The whole process, right through from initial landing on the page to doorstep delivery, should nurture trust and confidence. This is why the logistics that support online retail need to be bulletproof in their delivery of a faultless service.
With the massive expansion of online shopping, solid and dependable business logistics companies are required to manage the distribution, supply chains and delivery of goods. One of the key trust-building elements in the online shopping experience is the timely, safe and reliable delivery of goods. Online retail can be a swift transaction between shopper and provider, and in turn the customer’s expectations are for speedy delivery of their purchase. Online retail customers want their products without delay, and this demands logistics companies that deliver services that are both innovative and adapted to the constantly changing market conditions. With the development of new systems aimed at speeding up the process, companies that deliver items quickly and without problems are those winning the new contracts. For instance, logistics expert Clarence Gooden, affiliated to rail transportation company CSX Corporation, is leading the way in providing effective logistics solutions in much of the US and parts of Canada.
What does the future hold for businesses that specialize in logistics for online shopping? Let’s just say the future looks bright. The days of bricks and mortar stores are numbered, and the biggest marketplace out there today is in digital form. Logistics companies that adapt their modus operandi to meet the ever-changing demands of online customers will be the ones that thrive in the long term. Technological advances such as digital wallets, click and collect, new mobile phone technology and same-day delivery options will smooth the way for easier online retail transactions, which in turn will expand the potential for logistics firms to secure growth.
The challenge for logistics businesses is to keep focused on satisfying the hunger for existing demand without being left behind on the tech side. Those who innovate with new systems that keep them at the cutting edge of the online retail revolution will be the ultimate winners. The challenges for logistics companies are significant; however, balanced with opportunities to access previously untapped commercial seams, the outlook is good.