I gave a panel presentation at the Bernstein Motor of eCommerce conference last week in London.
We discussed two trends that will significantly impact on the eCommerce fulfillment footprint and supply chain dynamics in the near term horizon:
Direct-to-Consumer: Brands across many categories are accelerating their pace of selling directly to consumer (DTC). In the past several years, Brands have focused more on the top-line and front-end aspects of enabling DTC, but we believe that the sector(s) are rapidly pivoting to focusing on bolstering their fulfillment and supply chain to enable online growth.
Parcel Costs Rising: Labor shortages in the parcel market is becoming a structural headwind. While automation and self-driving technology promise to disrupt last mile cost economics, these are arguably at least a decade away. In the near term, imminent increase in parcel cost will have implications on retailers and brands in terms of their eCommerce fulfillment and consumer promise strategies.
Taken together, these two trends will play a significant role in shaping the overall eCommerce footprint landscape in the next 3-5 years, with implications across end to end value chain partners – including 3PLs, technology providers, parcel and last mile carriers, and commercial real-estate developers.