It’s no secret that online shopping has changed the face of retail, but e-commerce also has changed how retail works behind the scenes.
A recent National Real Estate Investor survey analyzed how the retail’s “ship-to-shore-to-store” distribution process has evolved with the rise of online sales.
Here are four highlights from the survey cited on the NREI’s website:
- Retailers are selling goods through multiple channels: 92 percent of the retailers in the survey sell products online, 68 percent have physical stores and 64 percent sell items through catalogs.
- Out of all the channels, online sales grew the most, with 36 percent of retailers surveyed reporting that online sales jumped by at least 25 percent over the past five years.
- Nearly 40 percent of retailers say their warehouse/distribution center needs increased, an indication of e-commerce growth.
- More brick-and-mortar retailers are opening distribution facilities devoted to e-commerce and building up their e-commerce infrastructure.
What a lot of retailers don’t understand is that you don’t have to display everything you have. It costs you more to ship a product from a vendor to your warehouse and on to your store. Then you still have to display and sell it. It would be much cheaper to have the merchandise available and just ship it directly to the customer at their home.
Retailers can save themselves the shipping costs by taking advantage of their omnichannel. Customer orders can be fulfilled from anywhere and shipped to their homes. Customers don’t care where it’s coming from; they just want you to get it to them.
Source: National Real Estate Investor, May 2012