The pandemic was the catalyst for a series of events that has seen ecommerce businesses experience both the highest and lowest highs. Ecommerce has seen a boom in its sales since 2020, with online shopping volumes at an all-time high. Many online retailers have difficulty securing products, packaging, or materials to keep pace with the recent growth.
In the past, it was common to keep a small inventory. With today’s fluctuating supply and demand, inventory requirements have changed faster than supply chains can adapt. This has caused massive shortages in nearly everything. It is now difficult for online retailers keep their products stocked and deliver on customer’s expectations.
A successful online store will be able to address current supply chain issues, manage customer expectations, and find alternative suppliers.
What is the state of the supply chain?
It is no secret that the pandemic caused major disruptions to almost all aspects of our lives, including online selling and buying. Consumers turned to online shops for their needs and wants when social distancing regulations were widely enforced. Experts thought that this was an accident as online sales grew by more than 30% in 2020. However, ecommerce sales grew by 40% in 2021 despite the fact that social distancing regulations were not widely applied.
Despite online retailers’ increasing success, supply chain problems have created many problems for suppliers and merchants, ultimately resulting in lower prices for consumers. The pandemic ravaged many major industrial and manufacturing complexes. Many workers were infected by the virus, which caused lockdowns and disruptions to production. Prices rose across the board as raw materials and products became scarce.
People were also spending more time indoors, learning online, working remotely, and attending virtual events. Due to mass layoffs and closures of businesses, people around the globe suddenly required new products and services as well as new ways to make an income.
Every market and every industry saw the digital revolution. There were more ways for people to profit from retail ecommerce, SaaS and subscription-based services. Even though many people had lower incomes, digital payment technologies such as Buy Now, Pay Later and digital payments made it possible to sell products online.
The combination of high demand and limited supply has created problems in the supply chain that have a global impact on almost all industries.
You can still run an ecommerce company despite supply chain disruptions
Although supply chain disruptions have caused many setbacks for ecommerce merchants, many have managed to find ways to minimize customer churn during difficult economic times. These are the four best ways your ecommerce company can address current supply chain problems.
1. Be sure to inspect your inventory
In an ever-changing marketplace, it can be difficult to predict inventory needs. In a stable economy it has always been important to keep track your inventory, but it is now essential. Online retailers need to know what’s in stock, what’s available, and what is low so they can order appropriately and avoid last-minute surprises and delays.
Retailers should increase their inventory whenever possible. Stock products and packing materials should be kept in stock. Make sure you have extras in case of an unexpected demand or disruption.
2. Make use of more efficient tools
You can use the latest ecommerce tools to keep track of your supply chain and plan accordingly. Even for small ecommerce businesses, supply chain management software is readily available. Modern tools allow you to track inventory and manage shipping. You can also keep up-to date on any changes that occur.
It’s important that ecommerce websites enable digital payments to meet changing customer demands. Digitization is not just for businesses. Digital wallets such as Apple Pay or Google Pay are becoming more popular. So that your customers can pay in multiple ways, you won’t lose out on sales.
3. Flexibility is key
Unexpectedly, products may become unavailable and it can make it difficult to find supplies. Supply chains are constantly affected by unpredictability. Ecommerce businesses need to be flexible. You can anticipate problems ahead of time so your company is prepared for any major disruptions.
Consider alternative products and suppliers. You can source locally to avoid shortages nationwide and globally. Also, you should research other products and services that might be of interest to your customers. Keep an open mind and be flexible to any last-minute changes.
4. Communicate with customers
Most consumers are aware of supply chain issues that cause their favorite products to run out of stock. It’s important to communicate with your customers about these issues, even in an increasingly self-service environment.
Explain to customers that delays may occur and that shipping times might be longer. You can set up email reminders to notify your customers when products are back in stock. You can also monitor the user experience on your ecommerce site by taking surveys or providing feedback.
Online businesses must be ready for any situation in an ever-changing digital environment. Ecommerce retailers have many options to mitigate supply chain problems without compromising quality or user experience. Automated tools can be used to track inventory and prevent you from being caught unaware when supplies run low. Increase your inventory as often as possible and consider other options for shipping and packing. Keep your customer experience in mind. To provide the best customer experience, be open and transparent with customers about shipping delays or shortages. You can also integrate multiple payment options and include customer support tools.
By: Shanice Jones
Title: How Ecommerce Businesses Can Deal with the Current Supply Chain Issues
Sourced From: www.volusion.com/blog/how-ecommerce-businesses-can-deal-with-the-current-supply-chain-issues/
Published Date: Wed, 09 Feb 2022 16:05:00 GMT
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