There’s been a lot in the news about new innovations in shipping & fulfillment. Buying online used to mean waiting days or even weeks for your package to arrive. The buyer had no visibility–just a promise of an eventual package. The merchant had little accountability. But, now the tables have turned!
Largely fueled by Amazon Prime’s free two-day shipping policy, customer expectations have gone much higher. This week, we’re sharing some articles that shine light on new innovations for getting orders to customers.
Ship From Store
Amazon recognizes that they need to continue to push the envelop with their shipping offering. Two-day shipping was once a huge differentiator, but now it’s becoming the expectation. They set a new standard, so now they must raise the bar to be competitive.
This article describes how they are testing out a new fulfillment strategy, using merchant stores in addition to Amazon fulfillment centers. This could lower Amazon’s costs, possibly allowing them to pass the discounts down to Prime users.
People as a Service
Yes, Amazon again…
They are also investigating the possibility of utilizing every day citizens to deliver packages locally. Think of it as an Uber-fication of their fulfillment. This kind of crowdsourcing technique has proven very successful for the Ubers and AirBnBs and Kickstarters of the world. Can Amazon fit the emerging freelance cooperation movement into their strategy?
Do it yourself.
In this article, Multichannel Merchant explains what you need to do to compete with big box retailers who can offer same-day delivery. Fulfillment is democratizing (see last link), so there are emerging opportunities for SMBs to adopt strategies like this. It could be a huge differentiator for your business, if you get it right.