The logistics of eCommerce revolve around storing, managing, and shipping inventory for an online store or marketplace. Consumers today want fast delivery that’s free, branded, and sustainable. In order to meet these demands, eCommerce businesses must think of fulfillment as a strategic asset. Successful operations require the organization to handle smarter, automated fulfillment that is closer to the consumer. 

Let’s look at how these four key drivers affect eCommerce logistics in 2021.

Fast

Shopping has changed. Where once consumers planned shopping trips to a physical site, today they shop online whenever they want and ship to wherever they are. What hasn’t changed is how quickly they expect to have access to their purchases. 67% of shoppers in the U.S. admit they want same-, next-, or two-day delivery at a maximum.

The rise in shipping costs paired with same-day shipping cutoff times has made it difficult for eCommerce businesses to meet rising customer demands. To comply with speed and accuracy, companies look to corrugated plastic containers, totes, bins, and pallets to move products throughout fulfillment centers. These automation-compatible products are responsible for helping customers get their purchases within a two-day time period.  

Free

64% of eCommerce customers expect shipping to be free. In fact, many consumers worldwide say that free shipping greatly impacts whether they will buy from a brand. What’s more, free returns must also be included in the deal. To satisfy this demand while also maintaining profitability, many companies are setting free-shipping thresholds. A customer must be willing to spend a certain amount per shopping trip before no-cost shipping will kick in. 65% of shoppers say they check free-shipping thresholds before adding any items to their carts.  

Again, increased shipping costs combined with a rise in order complexity pressure brands to meet the demand. Sturdy containers, bins, and pallets that don’t break easily help to optimize operations and maximize value. 

Branded

Building a brand is both important and difficult. Businesses must leverage whatever opportunities they can to bring recognition to their products.  

Branded packaging provides an excellent opportunity for brand building, as many customers like to snap photos of their deliveries and post them on social media. By using branded shipping materials, eCommerce operations can optimize the customer life cycle and capitalize on customer retention.    

Sustainable

40% of all consumers are purpose-driven. That means they want to align with brands that share their values. They are willing to pay a premium for products and services that are aligned with their lifestyle and will change their shopping habits to reduce the environmental impact. Recycling and sustainability are important to them, and they will seek out brands that not only utilize sustainable packaging but engage in waste reduction and sustainable operations. They prefer to support brands that care about the same things they do.      

Ecommerce fulfillment is the ultimate testing ground for items that support operations. The containers used in inventory management and shipping play a key role in perfecting supply chains. When those containers and bins are durable and recyclable, it reduces the carbon footprint of the brand, saves money, and helps the organization fulfill orders responsibly.

Fast, free, branded, and sustainable. Consumers in 2021 want their purchases shipped rapidly at no charge, packaged in branded materials that use sustainable products and operating procedures. Meeting this demand is challenging for eCommerce businesses, but it’s the only way they can remain competitive.

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