E-commerce companies need to make the purchasing process as seamless as possible to remain competitive, from the online checkout experience to the fast delivery of a product to the end user. Tools like supply chain software can be used to track order fulfillment and even the location of shipments in real time. This is especially useful for growing companies that need to be able to scale up while maintaining control over the delivery process, explained Forbes contributor Ryan Galloway.
Creating a scalable business model is especially important because the e-commerce market is expected to boom in the coming years. Data collection software tools that can provide a greater level of control to business managers, and that make it easier for businesses to track their products, will only become more important as operations expand.
A recent report completed by Transport Intelligence found that the e-commerce market, valued at $40 billion in 2012, is expected to grow more than 10 percent between now and 2015. The United States will account for 90 percent of the market, although Canada and Mexico are also expected to make gains.
"It's evident from the recent numbers of Cyber Monday purchases in the US that e-commerce will continue to grow as more consumers are exposed to shopping online," explained Ti's Senior Analyst Cathy Roberson. "As online orders increase, retailers will need to keep up or risk losing out to companies that can perform better in the market."
This growth has already begun to impact the supply chain process. One big change that will become more prevalent is the speed of order processing and delivery. Warehouses will have to increase efficiency and decrease turnaround time to compete in the e-commerce marketplace.
"E-commerce saw a large number of same-day delivery programs introduced in 2012," said Roberson. "Although many programs are only offered in a few local markets, it is likely same-day offerings will expand as e-commerce grows."
Wireless and mobile solutions like barcode data collection software and other automated data collection solutions, for example, allow staff to track products in the warehouse and when they are en route to their destination. This can help organizations more effectively manage the length of time it takes to deliver products to end users.