Online shopping continues to become more popular, especially during the holiday season, putting a demand on suppliers to pack and ship more items in less time. In just the first 44 days of the holiday season, shoppers were making online purchases at a rate 13 percent higher than in 2011, analysis firm ComScore found. More than $33 billion was generated from these online sales.
Within a week of Christmas, people were still clicking away online, making last-minute gift purchases. Many retailers were offering free shipping on December 17, giving consumers an extra incentive to make those purchases. While this meant good business for these stores, it also meant warehouses had to scramble to get those items off the shelves and out the door in order to be delivered in time for the holiday.
Nearly a dozen days throughout the holiday shopping season have generated more than $1 billion, according to the ComScore report. The National Retail Federation expects online shopping in December to generate $96 billion total, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. Another analysis, by Mastercard SpendingPulse, estimates the last 10 days before Christmas would account for about 24 percent of all holiday sales.
E-commerce is only expected to grow next year, reaching $1 trillion globally, Forbes reported. To respond to this growth, supply chains will need to ensure they have the right tools in place to properly track and manage their inventories. These technologies include radio-frequency ID (RFID), enterprise resource planning systems, a barcode reader and other data collection tools.
Major corporations like Amazon, eBay and Walmart as well as smaller stores are realizing these technologies are needed to satisfy the increasing demand from growing online sales, Forbes reported.
According to Logistics Viewpoints, mobile data collection is one of the major trends to affect companies in 2013. Mobile technologies are becoming the preferred platforms for businesses, and more applications will be developed to allow companies to use mobile devices in the workplace. To use these advanced technologies, companies need the right tools to collect data so it can be integrated into these systems.