It is evident that as e-commerce continues to grow, so too does its carbon footprint.
E-commerce remains unpredictable as peak season draws closer. Let’s take a look at e-commerce industry trends during September.
Q3 comes to a close, and we say hello to autumn! Falling leaves, Pumpkin Spice Lattes, scary movies, and e-commerce news! Consumer shopping habits have changed with fluctuating economies, and e-commerce remains unpredictable as peak season draws closer. Let’s take a look at e-commerce industry trends during September.
The Time is Now
With growing concerns about inflation and a potential recession, US consumers are planning their holiday shopping earlier than ever. According to a Consumer Trends Report, 55% of consumers plan to change their holiday shopping plans this year in response to inflation, and 30% of consumers have begun shopping as of September. Amazon is kicking off a new Prime Fall Season Event for Q4, which will also help consumers start their holiday shopping early with deals. Consumers are concerned about rising prices, and shoppers plan to buy gifts earlier this year before prices rise. Retailers should be prepared to start holiday deals now to avoid stressful busy-season behavior.
Reverse logistics is a complicated part of e-commerce. According to the National Retail Federation, retailers expect more than $761 billion in merchandise sold last year to be returned by customers, which amounts to an average of 16.6% of total US retail sales. Returns are becoming increasingly important because they double during the holiday season. Retailers must be sustainable in their reverse logistics strategy to not lose money and time on managing complex return processes and inventory management. The first step is gathering data about why customers return products to reduce inefficiencies. Using a shipping solution can make returns a whole lot easier during the holidays.
Pitney Bowes, one of our industry partners, has recently announced the deployment of self-driving box trucks on e-commerce routes in Dallas, beginning in the first quarter of next year. Pitney Bowes is working with Gatik, an autonomous middle-mile technology provider, which will provide the vehicles. During initial deployment, a safety driver will monitor the vehicle, and data collected during each route will help identify other opportunities for cost savings and service improvements. This partnership allows Pitney Bowes to tailor their Designed Delivery service, direct-to-consumers.
Almost all carriers have imposed a Q4 surcharge to offset the bulk of deliveries they must handle during the holiday busy season. If you are shipping through a major domestic or international carrier, peak season surcharges are almost certain to be charged. Carriers will publish surcharges on their websites, which will allow businesses to compare rates among different providers. It’s important to remember that the cheapest rate doesn’t necessarily mean the best service. Consider researching carrier options to help your business determine which carrier will provide the most value for your enterprise. You may view the following links for peak season surcharge information: USPS, UPS, FedEx, DHL, and Amazon. Need more information about peak season surcharges? Check out our blog here.
Third-Party Logistics companies have grown in popularity as e-commerce expands. In a recent market report, it’s expected that the global 3PL market will grow to USD 1,993.72 billion by 2028. Partnering with a third-party logistics provider may be the next step for your e-commerce business. A 3PL can improve technology and capacity to meet consumer expectations amongst supply chain issues with sky-high demand, restrictions, and sales up. But choosing the right 3PL partner comes down to knowing your business needs and researching 3PL options to find the provider with traits such as reputation, security, technology, and risk management. DesktopShipper’s second annual “3PL Week” occurred this month. Through seamless integration with existing WMS and ERP technology, DesktopShipper's cloud-based shipping solution allows businesses to capitalize on logistical growth while remaining competitive in today's market and handling high order volumes.