Online shoppers want more—and not less—ecommerce tools and delivery options from consumer brand manufacturers. But that is not likely to happen until more CPG product makers get their B2B ecommerce and digital fulfillment and supply chain house in order.
A new study by the CMO Council and Business Performance Innovation (BPI) Network finds retailers and consumer products companies are scrambling to meet customer demand for fast home delivery of products, citing outdated supply and delivery chains, a lack of order fulfillment centers near customers, and the high capital costs of fixing these problems as major impediments. Just 3% of industry survey respondents survey say their companies are very capable of meeting current expectations for fast home delivery.
As a result, the industry is considering new cooperative approaches to supply chain transformation, including joint ventures for creating shared micro-fulfillment centers in urban areas closer to customers. Some 97% of respondents say they would consider new joint venture approaches to rebuilding supply and fulfillment, including 42% who already expect adoption of these shared models.
The new study, entitled “Increase Your Pace in the Ecommerce Race,” was conducted in partnership with Attabotics, a robotics and software company focused on enabling a new generation of automated fulfillment centers. The study is based on a survey of 153 executives in retail, ecommerce, consumer products, distribution and consulting firms involved in consumer supply chains.
Most executives (96%) say that redesigning supply and delivery chains will be crucial to fulfilling their promise to customers and maintaining business profitability. Greater automation of picking, packing, and sorting, closer proximity of fulfill centers to customers, and more efficient last mile delivery are seen as the top three requirements for supply chain transformation.
“The increasing dominance of Amazon and very short list of other retail ecommerce giants is placing intense pressure on retailers and consumer products companies to find profitable and effective solutions to the home delivery dilemma,” says Dave Murray, director of thought leadership for the BPI Network. “Our study makes it clear that efficient delivery is now the key to winning and keeping customers in the era of ecommerce.”
“Same day/next day home delivery is attainable for retailers and consumer brands of all types and sizes,” says Julien Seret, Attabotics Vice President, Network Supply Chain. “To make this a reality, a new system of shared, multi-tenant micro-fulfillment centers built in key population centers will be needed. As this study demonstrates, the industry is ready for cooperative, network supply chains. Attabotics is committed to realizing this crucial fulfillment transformation.”
Other Key Findings:
- 84% of respondents say they are experiencing increased financial and resource pressures due to consumer demand for fast home delivery.
- 96% believe the industry must make dramatic or significant changes to supply and delivery chains to keep pace with consumer expectations.
- More than three-quarters of all respondents (77%) point to Amazon as a major competitive threat to their business due chiefly to Amazon’s massive ecommerce infrastructure and wide selection of available products.
- A third of respondents believe they could increase revenues by more than 20% by instituting same day delivery; another 51% estimate same day delivery would increase revenue by 10-20%.
- Virtually all respondents (99%) expect the shift to ecommerce and home delivery of products will continue beyond the Covid pandemic.