This guest post was provided by OrderHive.
eCommerce companies around the world have been increasingly investing in methods that drive customer satisfaction. From tightening the screws around warehouse and inventory management to providing faster, innovative shipping and finance options, companies aren’t pulling any stops to ensure that all their customers’ needs are catered to.
One of the most important parts of the entire customer journey on any eCommerce platform is product shipping and delivery. Companies that are able to provide a seamless experience to their users in this department have had a considerable edge over their competitors. In all likelihood, we will see this phenomenon continue in the coming years. Here are some of the shipping trends that the world is likely to witness in the next decade, and perhaps even further down the road.
Internet of Things or IoT is a web of highly advanced machinery that is connected to the world wide web. It’s a concept that has garnered a lot of attention in recent years, something which will only increase in the future. Around us, we’ve witnessed IoT’s application and how it’s made our lives easier, and shipping is poised to be the next big avenue.
A whole lot of electronic equipment is used in the process of shipping goods around the world, and at the moment, most of it operates in silos. Imagine a world where all of this equipment across multiple ports, warehouses, and freight stations around the globe can be connected to each other. This would change the very face of logistics as we know it today, and provide seamless movement of cargo.
From shipment tracking to easy returns and online payments, the applications of IoT in shipping are limitless.
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Companies have already started heavily into mining and using the gigantic pile of data that they have been sitting on for years, and still continue to generate. This data may seem inconclusive or random to most, but to the discerning eye, it’s a valuable asset that can be leveraged to the company’s advantage.
Data mining has a wide range of applications today, the most important being helping companies make business decisions based on trends and forecasts. There are tools available today which help make sense of the seemingly random data and turn it into deeply insightful information. This information can be used to track customer behavior, buying trends, transportation costs among other things.
The coming year will witness these solutions getting much sophisticated and accurate. And when that happens, more and more businesses will start making decisions based on data.
Although the pandemic has made it very difficult for us to see any silver lining, it has certainly pushed companies around the world to adopt smarter shipping practices. One of the best examples that come to mind is how most of the eCommerce brands introduced contactless deliveries, ensuring that the social distancing norms are followed. Something like this can be scaled up in the future to provide deliveries even when the customers aren’t necessarily present to collect them.
Digital payments will also see a rise in the next few years, especially in the regions that are catching up with the rest of the world in terms of internet penetration.
Related Article: Evaluating Shipping and Fulfillment for Your Online Business
The process of shipping products, right from dispatching them from the storage until they land on the doorstep of the client, is extremely lengthy and cumbersome, especially in the case of international shipping. The package often undergoes several changes of hands during the course of the entire process. This makes the shipment prone to so many mishaps as well as security breaches.
One of the trends that we’re likely to see in the coming years is many companies will form a conglomerate of such smaller units and offer end-to-end logistics services to the customers. It will save them the trouble of scrambling for a different service provider for each stage of the process and will provide them a cost-effective and much more secure shipping solution.
Contrary to popular beliefs, businesses have realized that it’s actually profitable to switch to greener means of operation. Hence we’re seeing major changes in the way companies have started operating, already cutting down on their carbon footprints and setting ambitious targets for the future.
Supply chain management around the world has become increasingly circular instead of linear. This means that companies have now started looking at ways in which they can recycle, resell or repair their products or use a raw material that can be used repeatedly or in multiple ways. We may see companies providing deliveries via drone and other electronic appliances, thereby reducing their fuel emissions considerably.
Such a sustainable approach has a profound impact on the planet and is every bit welcome.
With the improvement in shipping as well as aviation industries, we’ve witnessed the cargo-carrying capacity grow leaps and bounds, along with the speed of transportation. This trend is going to continue in the coming years as well, with newer, stronger, and faster carriers being developed.
Along with enhancing the current mode of transportation, the next decade will also witness newer emerging transportation modes. A discovery that is at the cusp of being unfolded is the hyperloop. Trials have already begun and they have been extremely encouraging. Such inventions will revolutionize the shipping industry and open up huge opportunities for eCommerce companies around the world.
The world around us is at an interesting juncture. On one side it has been reminded of its mortality due to an abominable pandemic, while on the other, the entire humanity has risen to the challenge and is innovating its way out of it as we speak.
The effects of this will far outlive the malady and will usher us into the world of limitless possibilities to apply all that it has taught us
Author Bio: Devansh is a writer with Orderhive, a holistic business management solution for wholesalers as well as retailers that helps them manage all of their backend activities like orders, product listing, shipping, returns management, and much more. You can read more from him here.
Rakuten Super Logistics (RSL) is the leader in eCommerce order fulfillment services and freight brokerage. RSL offers national fulfillment services and a network of 15 US fulfillment centers located in Anaheim (CA), Atlanta (GA), Austin (TX), Chicago (IL), Denver (CO), Houston (TX), Las Vegas (NV), Miami (FL), Olean (NY), Reno (NV), Salt Lake City (UT), and Scranton (PA). Their state-of-the-art technology allows for integration with popular shopping cart platforms and online marketplaces including Amazon, Big Commerce, Channel Advisor, eBay, Magento, ShipStation, Shopify, Volusion, Walmart Marketplace, and WooCommerce.