At the Southern California E-Commerce and Logistics Summit, there was much discussion on e-commerce. No matter whether you are in a consumer products company (which is typically more geared to e-commerce) or if you are in aerosapce, e-commerce principles and implications will affect you. The bottom line is that we are in the era of the customer:

  1. E-commerce is over 10% of all retail sales currently and projected to climb over 15% by 2023 – Customer responsiveness, rapid deliveries and last mile considerations will become commonplace.
  2. China and the U.S. account for over 80% of the e-commerce growth – In thinking of customer geography and delivery, it becomes apparent where to focus attention.
  3. U.S. cross border is expected to grow at 7 times GDP (export) – Correlating with several statistics related to export, there is VAST opportunity to better leverage export since it pales in comparison to import.
  4. Technology has disrupted retail and transferred power to the consumer – All we need to do is think about our last car purchase. You can find out exactly what we should pay for a car before ever arriving on the car lot. Just think mobile technology and the on-line marketplace to start.
  5. Supply chains have transformed from hub and spoke to localized fulfillment – These are vastly different models, requiring different levels of infrastructure. How can we change from one to the other without losing our shirt?
  6. The customer experience rules! – Similar to what we hear from our clients, very few talk about inventory levels as the #1 priority; instead, it is all about enhancing the customer experience . Are you geared to achieving this new #1 priority or the old?

Whether you have e-commerce potential in your business, export potential in your business or whether you just want to provide a superior customer experience, pay attention to these e-commerce trends. E-commerce is impacting every manufacturer and distributor in terms of service expectations, lead time requirements and growth – do you have a competitive advantage over your competition? What is it? And how will you provide it at a reasonable cost? Reason enough to stay tuned and get ahead of the curve…..