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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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…..