The Intersection of Logistics, eCommerce, and Technology

by Daniel Sperling-Horowitz on 2012-11-18 01:22:22


Daniel Sperling-HorowitzThis year, e-commerce will account for just 8% of worldwide electronics and general merchandise retail sales. E-commerce as a percentage of total retail sales is projected to grow at 15% annually for the remainder of this decade. As consumers, it’s safe to say we’re just scratching the surface of e-commerce’s relevance. As Logistics Service Providers, how will we respond?

For many, myself included, the experience of shopping online has won-out over brick and mortar. Why? It’s difficult to compete with a seemingly endless selection of product, instant pricing comparison, next day delivery, and [gasp] no lines and no driving! At the very least, you might say the experience of online shopping is more practical.

Fulfillment has officially been democratized.
E-commerce giant Amazon.com accounts for roughly 4.5% of international online electronics and general merchandise sales. Thousands of distributors use Amazon and it’s outsourced fulfillment services to market and deliver products quickly and accurately. ­But “growing your sales through a major retailer like Amazon, while still being in control your brand, is the challenge,” says Dimitri Onistsuk, Director of Marketing at Shipwire Product Fulfillment. Shipwire is an e-commerce logistics fulfillment provider that lets merchants grow sales across channels and internationally, while helping brands grow with an amazing delivery experience. Today, thanks to Shipwire’s enterprise grade fulfillment software, any online retailer can deliver an incredible shopping experience across all their e-commerce channels, not just Amazon.com.

How does Shipwire work?
Shipwire connects your sales channels (marketplaces, shopping carts, flash sales sites, global sellers) to warehouses in the USA, Canada, Europe and Asia through the Shipwire SaaS Platform. It’s what happens behind the scenes that makes this experience so special. When shoppers are checking out, Shipwire’s algorithms are crunching data including customer location, real-time inventory at globally distributed fulfillment locations, and real-time carrier rates based on exact order dimensions. Shipwire then fulfills the products to the buyer, faster for the least cost possible all under their brand, thereby delivering a great buying experience. This is how Shipwire provides global enterprise logistics for everyone.

A Shipwire success story. Just one of thousands.
Stephen Steinberg, founder of Raw Athletics, relies on Shipwire to support the e-commerce fulfillment of his fast-growing line of all-natural sports consumer products. “Shipwire allows me to focus on growing my business knowing damn well that my e-commerce system is working even when I'm not focused on it, and customers are getting product quickly and securely. Customers are amazed by the speed at which their orders are fulfilled -- as am I" admits Steinberg.

Shipwire Video

DMI Fulfillment goes the extra mile for it’s customers.
In 2011, industry veteran Bob Klunk saw an opportunity to provide outsourced e-commerce fulfillment in the US, and he hasn’t looked back since. DMI Fulfillment’s national footprint and industry-leading technology infrastructure allow orders to be shipped same day and arrive next day to 98% of the US population. But that’s not what impresses me the most about the fulfillment business Bob is building. Bob and his team focus entirely on promising online retail businesses. These range from fast-growing entrepreneurial startups to established brick and mortar retailers looking to launch successful e-commerce operations.

“Traditional retail fulfillment and e-commerce fulfillment have very little in common. At DMI, we understand the unique needs of e-commerce businesses, and we use our infrastructure and passion for customer service to help thriving businesses be great at e-commerce” says Klunk. Bob wants all e-commerce retailers to recognize that delivering Zappos-quality fulfillment and service is possible when you’re a client of DMI. To ensure this tenet holds true, Bob will personally order his customers’ product as well as the offerings of leading competitors to understand the entire experience and see how his clients compare. Next, Bob and his team hit the drawing board. Leveraging years of experience and connections, DMI customizes an e-commerce fulfillment strategy for each of its clients.

“There’s no better feeling than knowing my customers can focus on growing their businesses, confident that the logistics component is sending the clear and consistent message that their brand is world class. For us, it’s all about end-customer experience” adds Klunk.

Food for thought.
Believe it or not, e-commerce is transforming the logistics industry landscape. Given significant advancements in e-commerce logistics technology, it makes business sense for e-commerce retailers to outsource fulfillment operations. Logistics Service Providers that embrace this trend stand to profit immensely, while those that ignore it face serious headwinds. How will you respond to the rise of e-commerce logistics?

Daniel Sperling-Horowitz
Daniel is the President and co-founder of HD Trade Services (HDTS), a next generation logistics and distribution software provider based in Mountain View, California.