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How The Supply Chain Enables Successful Retail And e-Commerce

How The Supply Chain Enables Successful Retail And e-Commerce

The supply chain plays a crucial role in the success of retail and e-commerce ventures. In this article, Deanna Kaufman, a managing consultant with FedEx Customer Solutions, shares her insights on how the supply chain can enable a successful retail experience. She discusses the importance of logistics decisions, such as shipping speed, pricing, and returns, in shaping customer satisfaction. Kaufman also highlights the need for retailers to understand their shoppers' preferences and tailor their logistics experience accordingly. Additionally, she touches upon the debate between outsourcing and self-management of the supply chain and looks into the future of last-mile delivery and the impact of emerging technologies. Finally, she emphasizes the significance of integrating technology and understanding customer demands to capitalize on industry trends.


Supply chain, retail, e-commerce, logistics decisions, shipping speed, pricing, returns, shopper demand, outsourcing, self-management, last-mile delivery, emerging technologies, convenience, customer experience, technology integration, customer preferences, cost drivers, handling, distance, returns efficiency, secondary market.


Q1: What are some of the key logistics decisions that influence shoppers' purchasing decisions? A1: Shoppers consider shipping speed, pricing, and the returns experience as vital factors when making purchasing decisions.

Q2: Should retailers outsource or self-manage their supply chain? A2: The decision depends on the complexity of the retailer's supply chain. Start-up retailers may benefit from outsourcing, while larger brands might opt for self-management or a combination of both.

Q3: How will last-mile delivery evolve in the future? A3: The face of last-mile delivery is expected to change through the adoption of autonomous vehicles, increased density through synchronized delivery, and the provision of convenient pickup locations along shoppers' commuting routes.

Q4: How do emerging trends and innovations impact businesses and brands? A4: Businesses need to integrate emerging technologies into their operations and systems to keep up with evolving shopper demands and increase sales velocity. Legacy IT systems may hinder the adoption of more efficient processes.

Q5: How will consumers benefit from these trends and innovations? A5: Consumers can expect increasingly convenient shopping experiences. They will have more options for ordering online or physically going to a store, with companies catering to their varying preferences for convenience or a more immersive brand experience.

Q6: What are the main drivers of supply chain costs? A6: The main drivers are handling and distance in outbound shipping. To reduce these costs, companies can get physically closer to the customer and implement more efficient and scalable systems. In the case of returns, finding solutions to consolidate and outsource the handling and disposal processes can drive down costs.