Ecommerce is no longer a passing fad with recent figures showing an increase in online sales in August 2013. With this in mind, leading fulfilment providers have been looking into the future of fulfilment for ecommerce and have posed some interesting questions which perhaps remain answered. Channel Intelligence looks to solve these questions.
At a seminar at University of Cambridge, fulfilment providers made reference to ‘a big gap’ between customer and retailer communication between placing and order and delivery. After a placing an order, the next time a consumer hears from a retailer is when a shipping notification is received. This gap presents opportunities that have not been well covered by fulfilment companies at present. Should consumers be able to make changes to their orders all the way up to shipment and possibly beyond? Right up until you pick and pack the order, there is time to make changes.
A change of delivery address can cause the biggest of problems to fulfilment providers. Tame Bay speculates on this matter saying: “Think how great it would be if the parcel got notified that you’ve asked for a change of address and the next time it’s scanned the parcel instructs the courier to put it back on the van because it’s off to a new destination?” This is perhaps something for future - a gap that hasn’t yet been addressed in the most efficient way.
When it comes to efficient fulfilment, one of the biggest obstacles to overcome is the ‘transparency’ between retailer, warehouses, pick and pack and the end consumer. The biggest fear for those ordering online is that they do not receive their order and have wasted their money. Eliminating these ‘where is my order’ moments is next on the agenda to building trust. Developing one coherent system will be the key to plugging these gaps and pave the way to an even bigger future for ecommerce.