23 Jun Ship Orders? Here’s What You Should Be on the Lookout for at IRCE @RetailX 2019
IRCE is one of the biggest and best shows for online retailers. And given the importance of delivery to the ecommerce buying experience, shipping and delivery-related solutions will make up a large percentage of the exhibitors on the floor again this year.
The impact Amazon continues to have on customer delivery expectations is well documented. And the pressure this is putting on every other online retailer is obvious. What’s not so obvious is what they should do about it — but if you’re attending IRCE @RetailX, you are in the right place to start.
The exhibit floor at IRCE is always busy and expansive. This means there are a lot of solution providers to talk to, but it can be hard to figure out who’s worth your time and can provide the solutions you need.
If one of your goals for the event is to create a better shipping process for your online store, here are six types of solutions you’ll find at the show. Any one of them may solve a pain point for your shipping operations.
1 – Small Parcel Shipping:
You’ll find a range of companies claiming to reduce your small parcel shipping spend. These savings are usually provided by helping with rate agreement renegotiation, invoice audit, and packaging optimization. As a starting point, stop by VIProcure.com’s booth (#2168).
2 – Product Fulfillment:
These service providers can help with warehousing and order fulfillment. Many online retailers find that outsourcing this function is a smart way to reduce operating costs, provide scalability for peak periods of demand, and gain access to better WMS and order management technology.
3 – Small Parcel Carrier Alternatives:
The growth in demand for small parcel shipping has led to more competition from new carriers, giving you options besides just UPS, FedEx, and the USPS. Regional small parcel carriers and other startups are viable alternatives to the big guys. They’re not for every online retailer, but if your needs align well with one or two of them, you can save money and improve service to your customers.
4 – International Shipping Solutions:
There are also more alternatives to the USPS and foreign postal services for handling international parcel shipping than ever. There is a lot of demand for US brands and products in other countries, so the number of foreigners buying directly from US websites is increasing.
5 – Last-Mile Delivery:
Last- and final-mile delivery are the buzzwords du jour in ecommerce. Technology solutions that bridge the gaps between systems and disparate carriers (like the ones we’ve described above) are getting more effective at enabling online retailers to have a single view of what’s happening with their customers’ deliveries.
6 – Returns:
Nobody likes them, but returns have grown proportionately with the increase in ecommerce sales. They are a necessary evil, and both technology and solution providers are stepping up with ways to better manage this difficult part of the online selling process.
IRCE is a great event — but also overwhelming. Chances are, if you are focused on shipping, most of the exhibitors aren’t relevant to your interests. To make sense of the chaos, get started by looking for a few solution providers that align with each of the six pain points we’ve listed.
Improvements in any or all of these areas will make your time at the show time well spent.