The holiday season is, in general, a busy time of year for most of us. As I talked with people who were in line with me on Black Friday while watching others furiously trying to cross items off their holiday gift lists, I saw the future of our industry.
Frugal purchasing, free shipping, overnight delivery, on-line tracking…I’m used to hearing from our clients, but this season I’m hearing them more frequently outside of the office.
Maybe it’s the perfect storm of economic uncertainty, strong logistics marketing campaigns, and the ease of e-commerce, but more and more I’m seeing personal logisticians: consumers armed with knowledge, a credit card and a smartphone (or tablet!) who demand the best deal served up with timely (low- or no-cost) shipping.
And they’re getting it.
Retailers, both on-line and in-store are scrambling to accommodate them, and so, in turn, will the distribution industry. Google is reportedly already working with retailers for a 1-day delivery service to battle Amazon’s Prime program. UPS ‘My Choice’ allows users to reschedule and re-route deliveries. If this convenience is available in consumers’ personal lives, you can bet they’ll expect the same level of service in their business lives.
Is your distribution supply chain ready to meet this challenge?