The figures for the growth of e-commerce are impressive. For example, 76% of internet users aged between 16 and 70 use it to make purchases, a penetration rate that has continued to rise since 2020. Moreover, shoppers give increasing importance to immediacy, so shortening delivery and receipt times is becoming a key element. These data, extracted from IAB Spain‘s 2021 Annual E-commerce Study, undoubtedly define the daily activity of any business featuring an online shop or digital sales through any platform.
In this context, any company engaging in online commerce is obliged to maximise its capacity of immediate response. This decisive factor in online shopping also affects multiple operational areas: from the loading times of the online shop or the speed of response to queries, to product delivery times or the agility in the processing and logistics of refunds.
How does e-commerce affect internal logistics?
From an operational perspective, the interconnection with intralogistics is fundamental. System reliability and efficiency are factors that play a decisive role, which is why efficient process automation becomes even more important. The company will only be able to react positively to the current and expected growth of e-commerce and to the development of purchasing factors in digital environments by embracing innovation and the automation of processes and internal inventory management.
At the same time, it is important to bear in mind not only that demand is increasing, but also that competition for online sales is fierce and a constant challenge for any company. The methodology and delivery times offered by giants such as Amazon are forcing all operators to considerably improve their logistics productivity.
How to meet the demands of consumers?
The following duality should be borne in mind: Online consumers want to control information and be able to track their shipment, they want traceability and they want to receive their order almost immediately. At the same time, though, they want to buy from those who work for sustainability and care for the environment, both during production as well as during the preparation and dispatch of orders. Given this profile, intralogistics automation and sustainability must necessarily go hand in hand, above all as a response to the fact that everyone involved in the production chain is responsible for environmental awareness.
It is time therefore to analyse the possibilities of automating each of the processes related to preparation, movement, packaging and picking, as well as the opportunities for robotisation or for the implementation of warehouse management systems and 4.0 intralogistics solutions. This way, the company will be in a better position to meet the demands of current customers, attract new potential customers, respond to the rise of online commerce and even face possible peaks or fluctuations in demand with a greater guarantee of success.