2023 State of the Ecommerce Fulfillment Industry
Welcome to the first State of the Ecommerce Fulfillment Industry Report.
Will 2023 finally be the year that things get back to normal in the supply chain and ecommerce landscape? Maybe—but the tough lessons we’ve learned since the start of the pandemic have shown us that brands can’t depend on that if they want to rebound and have a successful 2023.
In 2023, brands will need to diversify their strategies and practices to handle uncertainty—a huge ask for already weary brands. To help them out, our 2023 State of the Ecommerce Fulfillment Industry will focus on four key trends brands can put their resources toward so that they can succeed in 2023.
Find highlights and best practices below from each section of the report.
A Focus on Customer Retention Instead of Acquisition
In 2022, it was difficult to meet, much less exceed, customer demand and expectations. At times it felt like Sisyphus’ fate of pushing the rock up the mountain, but the grade just kept getting steeper and the boulder bigger. It will still be a challenge in 2023, but brands will be better armed to cope with and manage the stratospheric exigencies of their customers. For example, 97% of consumers say that they have backed out of buying an item because of inconvenience.
Consider Outsourcing Order Fulfillment
If brands get to the point where they are spending too much time coordinating ecommerce order fulfillment but not seeing a return on investment or how it translates to an improved customer experience, it might be time to partner with a 3PL.
Learn more about what customer acquisition trends will be big this year including prioritizing customer loyalty and making realistic promises to shoppers.
New Year’s Resolution: Shed That Extra Inventory
In 2022, many ecommerce brands attempted to combat and protect themselves from potential supply chain disruptions by stockpiling goods. This proved to be a losing strategy for most and resulted in overstocked shelves and inventory bloat. This problem has been further exacerbated by factors such as: the post-pandemic transition from goods to services, rising inflation, high shipping rates, and over ordering due to murky demand forecasting.
Consider Adding Sales Channels to Offload Inventory
In the past few years, with the number of sales channels growing almost weekly, there are now countless opportunities for brands to diversify their sales channels—the key to becoming an omnichannel brand. In fact, 94% of retail companies now use multiple channels to engage with customers and customer satisfaction is 23x higher in companies that run omnichannel strategies.
See how shedding that extra inventory can benefit your brand in 2023 given the current warehouse real estate trends.
Reimagining the Worker Experience: Human-Centric Automation
With the advent of computers and advanced technologies, automation is now at a point where the gap between technology and actual people could continue to widen—not between humans and machinery but between humans and automation. In 2023, brands will continue to embrace automation to stay competitive and profitable, but make no mistake—automation is not about replacing humans with machines.
How Brands Can Attract Younger Workers
According to Flock Freight, making an effort to describe the workplace as innovative and primed for growth excites younger candidates. In job listings, areas to focus on are the company’s commitment to environmental stability; cool tech they will be using, like wearable technology and drones; and that a work-life balance will be encouraged and supported. Just remember—Gen Zers won’t trade decent wages for a purpose—and they will head for the door if companies don’t deliver on their promises.
Download the complete report to see what other ways you can attract the workers of the future while supporting your existing workforce.
Knowledge Is Power: Brands Will Become Their Own Experts
In 2023, there will be a cascade of information and recommendations for best practices; advice on everything from adopting automation and increasing sales channels to creating digital storefronts and instituting demand forecasting; and predictions based on an often-limited historical understanding of the logistics and warehousing industries. Moving into 2023, brands can't afford to be the last to know about any factor that could impact their sales and overall success.
Build a Solid Knowledge Base
The key concept here is—be realistic. Can staff define what the Metaverse is and does? Do they have a deep, complex understanding of AI? (Hint: it’s way more than robots.) Does the staff have the necessary tech-expertise? If not, do owners and managers have the time to educate them or the money to hire a specialist? Do they have the resources to provide excellent customer service in a virtual world?
Learn how to become your own expert on trends as well as what trends are worth the hype and which ones aren’t.
Extensiv’s mission is to be a visionary technology leader focused on creating the future of omnichannel fulfillment. But thought leadership isn’t about being right—it’s about contributing thoughtfully to the discourse and offering up food for thought, which is what we’ve included in this report.
It’s unlikely that brands will achieve overnight success by blindly plugging in common solutions into their existing business models. To be successful, brands must do their homework, look beyond the hype, filter out the noise, and become their own experts.
After all, no one knows your business better than you do.
Extensiv is a visionary technology leader focused on creating the future of omnichannel fulfillment. We partner with warehouse professionals and entrepreneurial brands to transform their fulfillment operations in the radically changing world of commerce and consumer expectations. Through our unrivaled network of more than 1,500 connected 3PLs and a suite of integrated, cloud-native warehouse management (WMS), order management (OMS), and inventory management (IMS) software, we enable modern merchants and brands to fulfill demand anywhere with superior flexibility and scale without painful platform migrations as they grow. More than 25,000 logistics professionals and thousands of brands trust Extensiv every day to drive commerce at the pace that modern consumers expect.