The other day, I talked with a friend that works in multichannel marketing for over 25 years. The conversation turned to how Internet technology keeps accelerating business change. New products and service competitors can be launched almost overnight. Businesses slow to adapt to change get destroyed. Payless Shoes, who recently announced a liquidation of all 2,100 company owned and online stores in the US and Puerto Rico, is just one recent example.
Brick and mortar locations are not the only stores who need to stay on top of innovation. There are just as many potential threats to ecommerce businesses – continual increases in shipping costs; how to decrease delivery times; and low unemployment and increasing labor costs - to name a few.
With this speed of change, how forward looking is your fulfillment strategy? How can you ensure you’re evaluating and implementing the right strategies? We feel the Ecommerce Operations Summit, April 9-11, 2019, is an excellent way to evaluate emerging trends and improve your fulfillment operation.
We went through the Conference’s agenda and highlighted some of the topics we found interesting, beneficial and why:
How Sustainable Are Rising Shipping Costs?
Every year shipping costs continue to rise unabated, with a continual flow of carrier GRIs and accessorial fees. Now, even the U.S. Parcel Service is increasing parcel rates, as well, and expanding DIM pricing. Merchants, especially small and midsize businesses (SMBs), are caught in the crosshairs and having a hard time keeping up.
Are carriers risking damage to their own future market by causing some players to drop out of the game? How sustainable is this cost curve, and what can be done to address it? This expert panel will look at the issues, the outlook and what’s being done.
Our opinion: This session is a must hear. Escalating shipping costs threatens every business, especially SMBs, which can’t compete with lower shipping costs from Amazon and large companies. Freight costs in many consumer ecommerce businesses are higher than the total of all other fulfillment costs together (i.e. direct and indirect labor, facilities costs, packing materials).
- Mike O'Brien, Senior Content Manager, Multichannel Merchant
- Rob Martinez, CEO and Co-Founder, Shipware LLC
- Gerald Hempstead, Principal, Hempstead Consulting
- Nate Skiver, Senior Manager, Parcel Network Design, Gap Inc.
- Sara Negri, Transportation Manager, Parcel and Ecommerce, GNC
Improving Store Inventory Accuracy with Carrots and Sticks
Stores are often seen as the weak link when it comes to overall inventory accuracy relative to distribution and fulfillment centers. But retailers are increasingly relying on stores every day to fulfill orders either for in-store pickup, shipping to another store, or directly to a customer.
So, how do you ensure greater store inventory accuracy? This expert panel will discuss “carrot and stick” approaches being used to incentivize performance by alternately rewarding locations that hit the mark or limiting SKU availability to those that don’t. This session is especially important if you’re an omnichannel business.
- Steve DeNunzio, Director, Master of Business Logistics Engineering (MBLE), Ohio State University
- Steve Reade, Director of Distribution, DSW
- Jonathan Aitken, Director of Digital and RFID Partnerships, Avery Dennison Corporation
Speeding Up Urban Fulfillment: Exploring Same-Day, Next-Day and Two-Day Options
Eighty-eight percent of consumers are willing to pay for same-day delivery, according to PwC. Not every business needs or can pay for multi-location and same-minute delivery. Customer expectations, inventory investment and availability, competition, delivery options, and costs are major factors. The panel promises to step back from the hype, relate their experiences and identify the practical realities of what to do in response.
- David Hauptman, SVP, Strategic Management, GEODIS
- David Strobelt, SVP, Chief Information and Supply Chain Officer, Modell's Sporting Goods
Try Before You Buy: Great Opportunity or Returns Tsunami Risk?
More and more brands like ASOS, Amazon, Stitch Fix and Trunk Club are catering to shopper’s tendencies by offering Try Before You Buy (TBYB), where many items go out and most come back. Does this represent a fantastic sales opportunity or a hellish returns scenario?
Our opinion: It’s interesting how some old ideas come back around – reinvented. Many retailers and ecommerce companies adopted and discarded no quibble return policies because returns were too high. It will be interesting to hear - who pays for shipping? How resaleable are items? Don’t miss this one.
- Justin Press, General Manager, North America and VP of Customer Success, Brightpearl
- Lalan Shrikam, Founder and Owner, Malabar Bay
- David Sobie, Co-Founder and CEO, Happy Returns
To FBA or Not to FBA: That is the Question
Many ecommerce companies started with Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) because it was easy, integrated with Amazon's marketplace, and offered great shipping rates and speed. But with the cost of FBA rising and restrictions tightening, some are searching for better service, greater freedom and a more cost-effective solution. The panel will examine arguments for and against FBA, the costs involved with leaving and the benefits of alternative solutions such as a 3PL.
Our opinion: This promises to be a lively strategic debate. Amazon sees all your product sales and vendors, then introduces competitors at lower retail cost than yours. Plus, you cannot make use for your marketing customer names for other business efforts, either. Come and hear what others think.
- Jason Aymerich, President, Complemar
- Peter Marlenga, Director of Operations, Tech Armor
- Darren Lane, B2B Ecommerce and Export Sales Manager, Motor State Distributing
Balancing Packaging Sustainability, Protection, Loyalty and the Bottom Line
It’s important to balance heightened consumer interest in the environment with the need to reduce costs by shrinking packaging size and shipping less air. It’s also important to assess current and emerging technologies. These speakers intend to look at the trends, drivers and solutions to product protection, branding and customer experience, sustainability, and profitability.
Our opinion: This is an important topic given consumer environmental interest, packing supply and shipping costs.
- Hanko Kiessner, Founder and CEO, Packsize International
- Jamie Markland, Associate Director of Operations, Boll & Branch
Don’t delay. Sign today. Conference rates increase March 1. Bring your entire fulfillment team. This is an excellent way to validate your fulfillment strategy for the future.