The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has altered the context for all markets and industries, causing supply chains to be disrupted across multiple business lines. As a result of the rapid fluctuations in demand, each pillar of the global supply chain has become destabilized.
In the logistics industry, supply chain disruption is not uncommon. Natural disasters, human error, political unrest, and climate change have all had an impact on procurement, causing a variety of economic disruptions for online businesses and others. Currently, the largest e-commerce retailers are attempting to secure their product route from the manufacturer to the customer in a timely manner, but the supply chain situation remains uncertain. According to a McKinsey study, direct deliveries to last-mile customers increased by 14% per year from 2015 to 2020, owing primarily to the expansion of deliveries to final consumers. From freight to the last mile, carriers are experiencing unprecedented congestion, resulting in service disruptions and tariff increases.
And, as the holiday season approaches, there is added pressure to solve all of these problems. As a result, we’ve put together a list of suggestions for your online store to deal with the supply chain and transportation crisis.
Seasonal requests should be anticipated
If you want your online store to have stock prepared before busy periods, you should do it ahead of time, given that there have recently been numerous delays, lasting several weeks, for goods purchased directly from suppliers. For example, the winter holidays are a time when your store’s inventory should be prepared ahead of time, but this is not always the case. Then, you can turn to local suppliers, who can provide you with shorter delivery times and will help you improve your sustainability rate. The most important thing, regardless of the situation, is to maintain constant communication with your customers and avoid setting expectations that cannot be met due to supply chain issues.
Manual data management is neither fast nor flexible when a supply chain is no longer functioning properly. As a result, cross-check and cross-validation processes should be automated. In this regard, an e-commerce provider can be useful because it has the infrastructure required to implement such machine learning or artificial intelligence systems.
Communication of unavailable products
During an unstable period, it is important to pay close attention to the marketing campaigns you run so that they do not promote out-of-date products to customers. All of your online business’s channels, from the store’s website to social media to newsletters and SMS, should send the same messages about the products. You can use an e-commerce service that also handles product catalogue automation. As a result, you can automatically stop a message that promotes an item that is out of stock; the only requirement is that product availability is constantly updated.
Many businesses rely solely on China’s ability to produce goods at a low cost. As we all know, the effects of several factory closures around the world have caused many manufacturers to become even more reliant on China. Procurement from a variety of suppliers should be an integral part of any resilience plan you develop. There is always room for diversification in your online business, whether it works with a few dozen or a few hundred suppliers.
The emergence of new, unexpected situations is almost unavoidable. The best way to meet the challenges that may arise in the supply chain segment is to make any business more flexible and resilient by developing contingency plans. Better data management through automated processes also aids in overcoming the difficulties that have arisen. By developing a resilience strategy and relying on reliable data, you can identify solutions for your online store that will allow you to thrive even if the supply chain is disrupted.