How Brands Can Improve Deliveries In The New Shop-from-Home Environment

More retailers are shuttering physical stores during the coronavirus pandemic but keeping their online businesses going strong.

A new survey by brand intelligence platform Red Points showed that e-commerce sales have grown in the weeks during the coronavirus outbreak, as consumers rely on purchasing digitally and having their goods delivered to their door.

The Red Points survey found that 58% of consumers agreed they would be more likely to shop online during the pandemic, while 46% said they would be more likely to purchase apparel online at this time. That’s a rare bit of good news for retailers — assuming, of course, they can keep up with demand and deliver the orders.

“Retail is easily becoming one of the biggest industries impacted by the coronavirus,” said Krish Iyer, head of industry relations and strategic partnerships at logistics service ShipStation. “In fact, 20% of respondents we surveyed have already had an e-commerce delivery delayed or cancelled due to the coronavirus. This new dynamic affects everyone across the supply chain — from the suppliers of raw goods and transportation carriers to the retailer and the end consumer.”

Logistics networks are coming under increased pressure as online orders pile up, with Amazon recruiting an additional 100,000 employees to help manage the surge in demand. Shipping experts recommend that retailers try to maintain their standard of delivery by regularly checking in with their providers, so that they can give consumers up-to-date information and realistic expectations for delivery.

Software can also play a part in keeping retailers on top of their supply chain.

Platforms such as Shipstation offers visibility across order management and warehouse inventory, integrating with popular e-commerce platforms like Shopify and Amazon. Being able to compare delivery partners and find the most cost-effective shipping solution also allows companies to reduce overhead; Shipstation partners with UPS, USPS and FedEx.

“The stress that businesses are seeing in their supply chains reinforces the concept that brands cannot take efficiency for granted,” Iver said. “You have to constantly look at incremental ways to improve operations to prevent a catastrophe and deliver on customer promises.”

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