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5 Questions Retail Suppliers Should Ask When Evaluating Their Ecommerce Supply Chains

Posted by Ascent Global Logistics on Aug 22, 2018 9:30:00 AM

In August 2018, Chris Moore, Vice President of Sales and Customer Solutions for Prime Distribution Services, An Ascent Global Logistics Company, participated in a Greater Bentonville Chamber of Commerce Fireside Chat to discuss topics related to retail consolidation and e-commerce.

Key takeaways from the event included:

  1. The supplier / merchant dynamic has evolved into a relationship that values speed, insights and digital acumen.
  2. There are barriers to commerce and helpers to commerce in an age of “everywhere” shopping.

Here are some questions Chris received during the event:

1. Where do you see grocery pickup two years from now?

Anything that can simplify commerce and accelerate convenience opportunities for the shopper is a win. Because people are busier than ever, retailers need to create convenient grocery pickup solutions for their customers. By creating services such as drive-thru grocery pickup and online grocery ordering, retailers such as Walmart can ensure that they are providing their customers the best possible service.

2. Do out of stocks really have an impact for online sales?

Yes! For online sales, out of stocks account for $17 billion in lost revenue for online retailers. If suppliers and retailers are continuously optimizing their supply chains to ensure that their products are in stock, they will be able to gain back lost revenue.

3. What are companies doing to reduce out of stocks?

To reduce out of stocks, companies must understand buyer behavior both for their e-commerce websites and brick and mortar locations. If an online customer is faced with an out of stock situation, he or she is more likely to swap products or sizes, but remain on the website to finish their purchases. Customers shopping at brick and mortar locations have a higher chance of swapping stores when faced with an out of stock situation.

4. How does a Walmart supplier compete with Amazon effectively?

To compete with Amazon, two factors are very important: (1) having an expanded, robust online assortment catalog and (2) competitive pricing. Because Walmart’s physical stores can positively impact their supply chains, they can use brick and mortar locations, along with their logistics expertise, to compete with Amazon effectively.

5. Should supplier teams think about being more agile?

Yes! First, suppliers need to understand the shopper’s preferred brands and categories. Next, suppliers need to know what the shopper will do in different purchasing environments. Ultimately, agility comes down to tactical implementation of effective higher-level strategy.

How Can Suppliers Learn More About The Topics Discussed At The August 2018 Fireside Chat?

Prime Distribution Services, An Ascent Global Logistics Company, can help Walmart suppliers achieve supply chain excellence. Contact us today or reach out to Chris Moore directly to better understand how we can help you reach peak retail logistics performance.  

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