With more than 76% of Americans shopping online, E-commerce is slowly becoming the predominant way people buy their favorite products.
While e-commerce supremacy is becoming more apparent each day, the challenges e-commerce operations face are also rising.
Rising inflation, the war in Ukraine, and ongoing pandemic-fueled difficulties continue to cause supply chain disruptions for companies worldwide. As we continue to deal with these new economic norms, there are a few strategies e-commerce brands can take to avoid supply chain disruptions.
1. Create Models & Contingency Plans
The actual supply chain issue isn’t the issues themselves but that our current system couldn’t handle the fluctuations caused by the pandemic. By creating models and contingency plans for various scenarios, companies can have an action plan ready for any disruption.
2. Monitor First-Party Retail Data
One of the best predictors of consumer demand is first-party retail data. Companies can identify early warning signs of supply chain volatility by keeping an eye on point-of-sale fluctuations in-store and online.
3. Create Data Partnerships with Suppliers
Many of the pandemic-fueled supply chain disruptions stemmed from a communication breakdown. If you’re viewing retail data that may signal a spike or decline in demand and that your suppliers aren’t aware of, they may not be able or willing to meet your new requirements. You should not only consider sharing data to help mitigate risks, but you may also find a partner to share the costs.
4. Invest in Real-Time Data
Minor delays can significantly impact today’s highly optimized supply chain. Fortunately, with machine learning, AI, and 5G innovations, companies can access real-time tracking data for shipments from cargo ships to last-mile delivery. If there’s an issue, the best way to save money is to get notified as quickly as possible.
5. Incorporate Cybersecurity Measures
Data breaches are becoming a more common issue for companies worldwide. By investing in cybersecurity technologies and conducting a cybersecurity audit, you can identify weak spots that may hamper your digital capabilities. Taking these measures can help prevent untimely disruptions and financial risks.
6. Keep Customers Informed
No business likes admitting a problem, but problems are unavoidable for any business. When issues do arise, it’s essential to manage customer expectations. Luckily, companies can automate the process of informing customers of delays when they occur, saving companies time and improving customer relations.
7. Utilize E-Commerce Marketplace Services
E-commerce brands are one of many in the fight against supply chain disruptions. When brands lose out on shipments, e-commerce marketplaces also lose commissions. Fortunately, many of these marketplaces offer brands tools and resources to help combat these issues. These tools include real-time tracking, alternative component suppliers, and customer outreach. While e-commerce platforms like Amazon notoriously take a large chunk of brand sales, they can be your best friend in a crisis.
While the holiday season is often the best time for e-commerce brands, slumps in consumer demand hamper brand expectations. To better prepare for a slower holiday season and a challenging start to the new year, e-commerce brands should consider investing in technologies and systems to help mitigate supply chain difficulties.
For more information call National Delivery Solutions