Currently, the apparel markets far exceed that of electronics and sporting goods in the online world. Since the number of people opting for window shopping is increasing when it comes to getting themselves apparels. According to statistics, the trend for online apparel shopping grew at a CAGR of 24, 15, and 14 between the years 2014 to 2017, in Southern, North-Western, and Central Europe, respectively. In the U.S., online apparel sales increase to 18.5% in just 2018, which covered more than one-third of the total apparel sales in the year. In China, the total online retail spending took a substantial leap with 27% in 2018, with 24% of the sales taking place via the internet.
Nonetheless, companies in every sector, not just apparel, are struggling and striving to meet their customers’ needs. However, adopting a robust supply chain practice is one of the most harrowing experiences a retail industry can face. Moreover, supply chain practices of the previous era do not have the resources and innovation to handle the pace of today’s business world. Not to mention the fierce competition each organization faces considering the retail giants that walk this path as well. If that is not a hurdle itself, some companies redefine their standards regularly, such as Amazon.
Customers always come first
The primary catalyst for excelling in businesses is to understand that the customers will always come first, especially in this era where the demands of the stars are increasing, along with the quality standards. Nonetheless, it also enables business owners to understand which products are in need and slow to move. For instance, a millennial will buy a pair of shoes that were showcased by an Instagram celebrity on the same day. Moreover, with the benefit or remoteness, consumers can acquire their product as they move from one place to another during the day.
However, to understand the psyche of customers, analyzing their data is essential. With the information combined from the consumer surveys that occur, experts can harness the hidden eCommerce potential for better results.
Moreover, it is also important that the business owners understand the prospect and remain flexible in any paradigm shift in the market. Nonetheless, it is all about surviving, given that there is no idea how the market will shape up in the next ten years because of its unpredictable nature.
Fast and collaborative is the way to go
Looking back at the traditional supply chain models, companies often chose a quantitative approach to model their supply chain approach. The approach is generally quite time-consuming, given that it requires an average of 3 months to gather data, six months to plan to model, and three more months to perform decision-making steps. One of the best practices is to develop a future supply chain infrastructure that caters to a shop-based environment. In other words, it will enable business owners to focus individually on each product and customer, along with identifying the product flow and volume constraints. The key is to work extensively until a solution comes forth, and then they can combine it into a robust service network.
Strive for innovative fulfillment options for better results
When the business owners identify existing assets within the company, they should consider adding innovative fulfillment options to the mix. In other words, they need to identify how different customer orders can be fulfilled efficiently. They also need to consider more cost-efficient practices.
Even with such aggressive approaches, the demands of the customers increase daily. This, as a result, has forced businesses to trigger further development of innovative fulfillment options. From dark stores to mini-warehouses, the business owners have a lot to think about if they want their products to ship directly to the consumers without delay.
In today’s world of technological brilliance, products can also be manufactured at the location of customers, such as via 3D printing techniques. The operations can be performed quicker, but there is a huge gap in efficiency in services.
Considering how the business operates in the contemporary era, the speed and efficient use of resources are essential. Thus, the retailers must not waste time on building new infrastructure but strengthening their existing one. However, to make the infrastructure more outcome-oriented, they must share resources that also improve their value chain.
Sharing resources bring about synergies, where risks and costs are divided. Moreover, it also opens new opportunities to deliver better and quicker customer service. For instance, connected inventory is a primary example of using partners’ resources. It is more cost-efficient, while it also increases the availability of different products with less than minimal effort.