At its Accelerate seller conference in Seattle, Amazon announced a raft of interconnected services Tuesday, branded as Supply Chain by Amazon. It handles everything from logistics and forwarding from point of origin all the way to the customer’s door. For the first time, Amazon offers bulk storage, distribution and replenishment across channels from the same inventory pool, including retail stores.
Tailored Brands, a menswear and formalwear retailer that includes Men’s Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank, needed to anticipate customers’ evolving preferences for various style, color and size choices in its tuxedo rental business. CTO Scott Vifquain and Gurhan Kok, founder of Invent Analytics, talk about how AI-based technology was applied, and the results so far in our MCM CommerceChat podcast.
Third-party logistics (3PL) providers play a pivotal role in guiding brands through the continuing evolution of retail and ecommerce. Brands aiming to adapt and excel need 3PL partners that leverage industry expertise, data and technology. This helps them enhance efficiency, promote collaboration and drive fulfillment innovation. Here’s how innovative 3PLs are spearheading this change.
With all the focus on winning in the last mile, companies need to pay more attention to critical first mile success, addressing the various headwinds that beset it. Brands need to strike a balance in optimizing the first mile that address efficiency, affordability and overall performance. Here are two critical areas to address in order to help you mitigate risks and assure a seamless flow of goods.
Effective ecommerce product data flows are crucial. From product descriptions to stock levels, they inform business strategies. However, as the volume and complexity of data grows, you must explore innovative solutions to manage it more effectively. A PIM system, integrated with your ERP, facilitates automated, accurate product data flow, improving operational efficiency and CX.
A recent trend in ecommerce network design supports a strategy of “getting product closer to the customer,” a more efficient model that delivers on service-level promises. Then came COVID-19, upending everything and accelerating the pace of change in inventory and supply chain strategy, in turn affecting network design. Retailers and analysts discuss the current state and where it’s headed.
Mexico and Canada are seeing an increase in manufacturing and shipping to the U.S. as nearshoring takes hold in the face of uncertainty over trade with China and more businesses adopt a “plus one” strategy regarding the country’s largest trading partner, maintaining their base while diversifying their sourcing strategy. Inbound freight from Mexico outstripped China by 15%, while Canada was 5% higher.
All signs point to a muted retail peak outlook for 2023, with many shippers booking later sailings than in the past as they continue to burn through inventory, figure out demand signals and determine what new products to introduce for end-of-year holidays, Seko Logistics executives said on a media day call. The company’s CEO still sees “green shoots” of optimism with ordering picking up.
Wix, a platform for merchants to create ecommerce storefronts, has partnered with shipping services provider Shippo to add a set of natively integrated tools its customers can use to simplify order delivery and take advantage of volume discounts with carriers. Wix Shipping went live in November in Canada and has now launched in the U.S. and the UK, with plans to expand shortly to Germany.
Children’s apparel retailer Carter’s plans to open 50 new stores this year, and at least 1,000 by 2027, seeing an opportunity as its SKU rationalization, price realization between selling periods and inventory management have improved the unit economics for retail, while the online-store mix shifts a bit toward brick and mortar. Executives said consumer confidence is down but not as bad as in 2022.