The Clyde platform was created to meet the needs of eCommerce companies. To stay abreast of the latest trends and developments within the space, we’ve invested time and resources to remain well read on the subjects that matter most to our customers. Check in on this weekly “conversation” to read, watch and listen to stories that are shaping the eCommerce industry.
Empowering Customers To Sidestep Supply Chain Bottlenecks
Earlier this fall, Digital.com reported that nearly half of all small business owners in the US were anticipating inventory shortages through the 2021 holiday season. Those fears related to this holiday season have sadly come to fruition for many retailers who were unable to offer their full array of products to their customers. Nearly every company, large and small, has had to contend with shipping delays on both sides of the business (manufacturing and last-mile distribution).
These rampant supply chain issues have had a trickle down effect on consumers in three separate ways. The first domino to fall was the availability of products. Physical and digital shelves lay bear during the holiday season for most retailers, particularly in their best selling categories.
The second impact that consumers have felt is prolonged shipping delays. Congestion at the Port of LA, which processes nearly 40 percent all of US imports, is just one indicator of how dire American shipping issues are today. Even once containers are processed, with current wait times averaging more than six weeks, trucking and warehouse issues are compounding shipping delays. Worker shortages at warehouses, mean that tractor trailers are sitting and waiting to be unloaded and processed. All of this is contributing to a domestic supply chain that is stuck in neutral across the country.
When you combine these issues together, companies are opting to pass down their costs to customers. Last week the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that The Consumer Price Index rose 6.8 percent from November 2020 November 2021, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending June 1982. Consumers are feeling the economic burden being passed to them at every turn, with non-discretionary items like energy costs rising by 33.3 percent year over year.
So how can merchants help consumers? One idea is borrowing a strategy from Etsy. The eCommerce peer-to-peer marketplace provides customers with the ability to search for products and sellers by location.
“Not only can users filter products that are produced within their country, but they can zero it in to only display sellers from within their own states. This passes a great deal of control to consumers, giving them the power to choose where their products come from and whom their purchases empower. And it's not just that consumers want to support their microeconomy from the comfort of their homes,” wrote Kelly Main of Inc. just this past week.
The upshot here is that consumers can cut down on shipping costs, while guaranteeing the arrival of their purchases before the holidays. Buying locally used to be the standard before widespread globalization moved points of production and distribution all over the world. But merchants can offer still offer a similar experience with enhanced Buy Online Pick-Up In Store (BOPIS) options, strategic warehousing of products in densely populated areas and outsourcing of production to local manufacturers where available.
To learn more about how to prepare for the great supply-chain crunch of 2022, click here.
Militarizing Your Supply Chain Operations
Sounds intense, right? Well not for Basic Fun! CEO Jay Foreman. This toymaker has created a military-style operation around its supply chain to ensure that their toys end up where they need to be this holiday season. To learn more from Foreman and the creative solutions merchants are trotting out this holiday season, listen in to this nine minute podcast from NPR.
Augmented Reality In eCommerce
Illumix Founder and CEO Kirin Sinha sat down with Bloomberg’s Emily Chang to talk about her how company's technology is raising the bar for the level of accuracy in integrating the digital and physical worlds. It’s a reality at Disney Parks today, but could play a much larger role for eCommerce companies sooner rather than later.