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What 2021 Taught Us About Retail & Logistics, and What to Expect Next

What if this year is just like last year?

Much as we wish the pandemic was over, the beginning of this year feels a lot like the end of last year. Many of us are still wearing masks, still working from home, and still trying to remember what it felt like to buy something on a whim without thinking about the supply chain. 

So it's possible that we already know what to expect in 2022. But what if we're wrong? What if this turns out to be another year of continuous disruption for the logistics industry? Our best approach to the year ahead is to stay flexible and keep building on what we've already learned.

Topics: last-mile delivery solutions e-commerce shopping local sales centers omnichannel shopping retail

The Second Year of Covid Kicked the Logistics Industry into High Gear

Adapting to a future of continuous change

Someone recently asked us to share our thoughts on the future of supply chain management. We always enjoy this exercise, but we’re not quite as confident about our answers this year as we’ve been in the past. 

We can predict that the logistics industry will continue to do an incredible job of adapting to extraordinary circumstances, as it has over the last 22 months, and that we will keep doing our best to stay one step ahead of whatever comes next.

Topics: omnichannel shopping retail direct-to-consumer Covid-19

Why 2021 Holiday Retail Forecasts are "Cautiously Optimistic"


And why walk-in customer pick-up centers are a gift that keeps on giving.

We thought about posting this blog last month, but the Autumn sun was still warm and it seemed too early to talk about Christmas before we’d even had a chance to enjoy Halloween. 

Retail planners, however, have been thinking about how to prepare for a successful holiday shopping season for months now, and industry analysts have been crunching their numbers for 2021 holiday sales forecasts. 

Topics: holiday shopping e-commerce shopping local sales center distribution strategy retail

When a Store is Not A Store: How COVID is Transforming Retail


Most consumers don’t spend much time thinking about the innovations that make it easier and more convenient to buy things. They simply adapt to a steady stream of new tools -- like digital wallets, mobile apps, and on-site delivery services -- as they come along.

Topics: local sales center omnichannel shopping Amazon retail

How to Keep Your Retail Employees From Quitting


 

More than 400 thousand small businesses folded in 2020 due to the pandemic. Single location stores were hit the hardest. Still, the net change in the total number of stores in the U.S. was positive: more stores opened than closed.

Simultaneously, e-commerce sky-rocketed, both out of necessity and an abundance of caution. But, as soon as it was safe to do so, we willingly went back into stores; clothing stores, in particular, because we like to try things on, and because it’s easier to return goods at a physical location. It turns out that online vs. in-store shopping is not a zero-sum game after all. We want both. 

Topics: local sales center omnichannel shopping retail L.A. triathlon

Last-Mile Delivery Outlook for 2020: Five Key Retail Trends to Watch This Year


 

We saw so many changes in retail logistics in 2019, from “BOPIS” to the rise of direct-to-consumer pop-up shops. Here are our predictions for the next 12 months.

Topics: click-and-collect artificial intelligence amazon delivery retail

In Fashion, Sustainable Retail is All the Rage

Air pollution, overflowing landfills, and greenhouse gasses are all by-products of environmental damage created by manufacturing products and delivering those products into the hands of consumers.  

What — if anything — does watching a Paris runway show on your iPhone or buying a new dress online have to do with the global climate crisis?  

Topics: last-mile delivery solutions e-commerce local sales centers Herbalife amazon delivery retail

Retailers Test Brick-and-Mortar with Pop-Up Stores

The growth of online shopping has caused retailers, rightly, to make real estate investments with an abundance of caution. But in Manhattan, the softening retail market is finding new friends in the pop-up-store concept.

Let’s examine this phenomenon and how it’s helped retailers looking to meet buyer demands for a physical location without a traditional real estate investment.

Topics: e-commerce pop-up stores consumer demands retail

In a “Just Commerce” World, Retailers Need Big Data More than Ever

Soon customers won’t distinguish between shopping on their phones, online or in your store. Big data can help you prepare.

Americans are obsessed with smartphones. We use them morning, noon and night to manage our daily activities, follow the news, and stay in touch with friends and family. A new study by Asurion says we check them almost 80 times a day!

We also use mobile devices to shop. Mobile, or “m-commerce,” is growing 3x faster than traditional e-commerce, a phenomenon directly correlated to the explosive growth of smartphones. In 2017:

Topics: e-commerce shopping retail mobile mobile shopping