How eCommerce Trends are Changing Manufacturing Operations
The eCommerce industry is one of only a few business models that have thrived amidst the financial uncertainty of COVID-19. eCommerce did more than just weather the pandemic, it took advantage of the opportunity to accelerate industry growth by 4 to 6 years, according to an Adobe analysis.
While many assume eCommerce gains are relatively insulated, in actuality, the industry affects many adjacent ones, including artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things. As the rest of the world struggles to catch up financially, eCommerce and related industries are thriving and rapidly changing. Here, we’ll explore how data analytics and manufacturing trends in eCommerce are changing industry operations.
Increased online traffic and changing user patterns have led the eCommerce industry to employ sophisticated data analytics methodologies to predict consumer behavior. eCommerce stores worldwide make use of data analytics to provide product recommendations, perform market analysis, optimize price, and forecast demand.
Business analytics is nothing new, but its ease of use and popularity has increased in recent years. With many consumers worldwide still confined to their homes or local communities, more and more are turning to online shopping. Not only does this expanded consumer base mean more accurate analytics, but it also means more opportunities for business expansion, both in the eCommerce industry and beyond its confines.
Business analytics has become extremely important in business decisions because of its cost-saving abilities and adaptability. Specializations in the field include marketing specialists and business analysts. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the business and financial professions will expand faster than average over the next decade, making an investment in data analytics an investment in your future.
As data analytics become more widespread, tools like Google Analytics, Supermetrics, and Glew.io are enhancing their user features and accuracy. Analytic usage across industries is easier when these resources are there to help bridge the gap. Each day, they’re becoming more and more accessible to businesses.
eCommerce in Manufacturing
Manufacturing is another sector that’s been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and shifting trends in eCommerce. Some of the top eCommerce manufacturing trends include:
- Constant shifts in the industry, including shifts to online business.
- An increased number of D2C sales.
- Using real-time data integration to resolve and reduce order errors.
- Enhancing the customer experience.
- Streamlining the payment process.
Changing trends in manufacturing extend to all commercial industries. If you have a product to sell, increasing efficiency and providing a better customer experience can make all the difference for your business. With the introduction of driverless cars and automated inventory counts, administrative pressures are relieved and businesses can turn their attention to other matters.
The Changing Landscape of Supply Chain Management
When it comes to supply chain management challenges, businesses must understand the problems at hand to identify the most pertinent solutions. Some of the most useful solutions today involve implementing advanced technology, including robotic warehouses, blockchain, and digital supply chain twinning.
Decentralized distribution is also being piloted by companies like Amazon, which is experimenting with drones and has larger ambitions to produce a floating distribution hub. While not all of these innovations have taken flight just yet, as we look toward the future of manufacturing, the eCommerce industry promises much more in terms of automation and agility. Most consumers expect timely, fast delivery via the postal service, and robotics and automation offer the quickest path to meeting high consumer expectations.
Overall, eCommerce is shifting to a digital economy, making use of blockchain for enhanced security and efficiency, while employing more technological and data analytics tools. The rise of chatbots and automated business processes allow business owners to focus on important matters, rather than dealing with trivial mishaps and other time-consuming administrative tasks.
Keeping Up in a Fast-Paced World
Staying on top of eCommerce trends in today’s fast-paced world is not for the faint of heart. It is perhaps for this reason that over the years, business owners have repeatedly held a stagnant mindset when it comes to innovation and improving processes. There’s always an excuse to put it off for later.
However, the fact of the matter is that now is always the time for process improvements. Businesses that stick to the status quo and maintain existing workflows find themselves falling behind financially sooner or later. The risks of stagnation are much greater than the risks of innovation, especially in today’s competitive global marketplace.
The market is continually changing, your competitors are stepping up their game, and consumer demands are increasing each day. Customers expect a smooth on-the-go shopping experience, fast service, and tech-savvy business models. Even for in-person transactions, consumers prefer contactless payment methods and online inventory availability. Their preferences extend far beyond the eCommerce industry itself, meaning progress in fields like automation and artificial intelligence are essential to satisfy new and emerging consumer habits.
With a customer-driven focus, successful eCommerce businesses aim to increase sales through data analytics and boost efficiency through more streamlined websites and supply chain management practices. Don’t allow your business to get left in the dust — eCommerce or not, digital shopping trends are shaping industry operations across the board.
If your business is in need of help to rocket into the future of manufacturing through digital transformation or supply chain optimization, contact the operations management experts at USC Consulting Group. They have been shaping manufacturing operations for over 50 years.
*This article is written by guest author Ainsley Lawrence. View more of Ainsley’s articles here.