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April 2022 E-commerce Wrap Up

April has thundered by like a rainstorm. The beginning of Q2 saw an exploration of customer experience and sustainability efforts in e-commerce. Spring is a symbol of new life, and that was evident in the return of industry Trade Shows like Shoptalk and Ecommerce Operations Technology Summit. Companies are transparent with the supply chain and fulfillment during trade shows, which will help influence consumer decisions. Connections with people must be built from wherever they are in the world. Let’s review the industry takeaways from April. 


Experiential retail 

Retail is constantly changing. During the pandemic, e-commerce hit it off due to the necessity of its convenience. Experiential retail, where retailers offer consumers an experience you can’t get online, lost focus in the last few years, as it originally emerged as a brick-and-mortar alternative to popular e-commerce sites. It is clear now that experimental retail has rebounded and consumers are excited to spend money on new and exciting experiences like simulations, VR, enhanced cinema, and more with local retailers. It is essential that retailers take advantage of combining e-commerce with experiences that consumers are waiting for. Another way to promote the success of experimental retail is Livestream shopping. The number of conveniences brought by online shopping are endless. But, many retailers worry that sometimes it can be lonely and alienating. Livestream shopping brings the social event of shopping online. Chinese consumers have become accustomed to this type of shopping and other countries are beginning to take notice. The ability to attach a story to a product adds to the authenticity and relatability of a shopping experience. Audiences of live streams can purchase products directly off the screen, which adds to interactions between shoppers. If you are thinking of adding an experimental retail channel, multi-channel shipping is a DesktopShipper specialty.


B2B E-commerce

B2B e-commerce has become more popular in recent times. Payment experiences are also updating with the popularity spikes, as it is an essential part of businesses. But cross-border payment is a tricky one as consumers and businesses alike expect a consistent user experience across all channels. Enabling fast, transparent, and simple cross-border payments, while also making sure data is secure and compiled with global regulations is a problem for all businesses trying to reach an international market. A personalized payment experience will add to a streamlined B2B e-commerce. 


Sustainable Supply Chain 

Sustainability efforts continue to be at the forefront of consumers’ minds. All companies, no matter where they lie in the supply chain must consider consumer values impacting their habits. FedEx, a DesktopShipper integrated carrier partner, has announced their plan to use electric carts to make deliveries for Express routes in US and Canadian cities during this year. The purpose of this is, in part, to prevent excessive diesel prices and to address the lack of parking in large cities. Despite partnerships between delivery services and EV manufacturers, the electrification of the global supply chain is a slow process. Last-mile delivery is the most expensive step in the fulfillment chain, so investing in electric transportation could be one way to reduce operating costs and improve urban mobility. Reverse logistics also impact sustainability efforts. Last year, $761 billion of merchandise was returned to retailers in 2021, according to a National Retail Federation survey. The average rate of return was nearly 21% of the products sold during the holiday season. Reverse logistics is a complicated part of the business, and it also impacts carbon emissions and waste, as many products cannot be resold as they were initially. The very best way to reduce return waste is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Some companies, like Amazon, are developing programs that build upon the secondary market and donations of unwanted and returned goods like Warehouse Deals, Amazon Renewed, and Amazon Outlet. 


Lack of distribution spaces

From B2C to B2B, e-commerce sellers are battling for expensive warehouse and distribution center space. As of 2021, 771 million square feet of space is being leased for order fulfillment and distribution purposes by e-commerce sellers and third-party logistics providers, according to Cushman & Wakefield, a commercial realtor and services firm. Both ownership and leasing demand will remain high in 2022. Rent growth for warehouse and logistics will continue to increase for the next two years, coming in at more than 15%. Online shopping slowed as restrictions on the pandemic began to ease and in-store purchases increased. However, young consumers are also becoming more aware of sustainability issues such as wasteful packaging and air pollution. Consumers are also concerned about ethical and accountability issues in business. Globally, 44% of e-commerce consumers have changed their online shopping behavior due to sustainability concerns, according to a survey by the International Post Corporation. Being an environmentally sustainable fulfillment warehouse is partially essential, especially because of the lack of distribution spaces available. Want tips on becoming an environmentally sustainable warehouse? Read DesktopShipper’s guide here.

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