Shipping is a growing operational issue for retailers, as consumer expectations for fast, trackable, and free deliveries pose significant cost and logistical challenges.
The “last mile” is particularly complex, ie the last stage of an online order’s journey from the store or distribution center to the customer’s home. It may sound simple, but it actually requires meticulous inventory management to track down products and an efficient and cost-effective way to deliver them to customers, while providing customer service that is as easy and smooth as possible.
Founded in 2010, ShopRunner is a membership service that connects customers with retailers through the offer of free two-day shipping and returns. ShopRunner partner retailers have access to the platform’s logistics network, consumer insights and software ecosystem.
Following its acquisition by Fedex in 2020, ShopRunner is now part of FedEx Dataworks, covering orders from over 90 retailers, including Neiman Marcus, Burberry and Farfetch. The agreement enables FedEx Dataworks’ long-term strategy to use ShopRunner’s effective feedback loops that will benefit from its own data, derived from mobilizing 15 to 80 million packages per day worldwide. The company will then supplement this data with external weather and traffic data, applying predictive analytics to better understand and optimize the progress of goods through its physical network.
“It is becoming increasingly difficult to separate shopping and shipping when it comes to consumer brand experience,” said Sriram Krishnasamy, president and CEO of FedEx Dataworks. “Supply chain is now a boardroom conversation – it’s an incredibly important strategic differentiator.”
At VOICES 2022, BoF’s annual event where global changemakers come together to inspire innovation and reimagine the future of the fashion industry, Krishnasamy discussed how retailers can align logistics with the brand experience, as well as streamlining these processes to operate more responsibly.
Now BoF is sharing key event information.
Manage escalating consumer expectations
Sask. : Today, consumers expect to receive products as quickly as possible, which puts a strain on the supply chain in addition to increasing costs for brands. That said, it is an opportunity to optimize the supply chain, from sourcing to manufacturing, from storage to distribution to the last mile.
By leveraging FedEx’s supply chain distribution knowledge and insights, brands can achieve a certain speed of delivery – whether it’s same day, next day or 2-3 days – while learning what’s their optimal distribution system. We help brands meet consumer demand at the right cost while creating visibility on the impact of the choices they make.
The second aspect is environmental responsibility. When we place an order and choose to receive it within two days, we miss clear information on the carbon emissions and the impact of this order on the environment. At FedEx Dataworks, we’ve built a sustainability insights engine that not only calculates environmental impact, but also shows where brands can expose customers in their direct selling channel to the impact of their choices. on shipping speed. Today, that data isn’t immediate, so that’s one of the capabilities we’re building on the ShopRunner platform.
Digitization of backend processes
Sask. : It is becoming increasingly difficult to separate shopping and shipping when it comes to consumers’ brand experience. Supply chain is now a boardroom conversation – it’s an incredibly important strategic differentiator. Brands invest years in developing the best versions of their products, so they need to think about how best to get that product from manufacturer to consumer.
Brands invest years in developing the best versions of their products, so they need to think about how best to get that product from manufacturer to consumer.
ShopRunner is a shopping platform serving millions of consumers, and our strategy for acquiring it was to make the pre-purchase, purchase, and post-purchase experience as seamless as possible. We bring the intelligence and insight we’ve generated over 50 years of operating one of the largest physical networks on the planet so brands can connect with their consumers. We play a role from generation to post-purchase experience. It’s the synergy between FedEx and ShopRunner.
One of the main reasons for the disruption during the pandemic was the lack of an overarching data ecosystem. If the data was in a collective ecosystem, matching supply to demand would have been much more possible.
Operate a responsible shipping network
Sask. : I see the future in more collaborative data ecosystems. Today, information is stored in silos, locked in separate data systems from different players in the fashion supply chain. We need a collaborative, common data platform where everyone can compete while optimizing operations, delivering the best consumer experiences, and making eco-friendly choices.
Today, information is stored in silos, locked in separate data systems from different actors […] the future is collaborative data ecosystems.
We’re evaluating how to make our network an extension of your products through data insights and physical infrastructure, and we want to change the way consumers access their favorite brands through their direct-to-consumer channels – but in a way responsible, taking into account the environment and the planet.
This is a sponsored feature paid for by ShopRunner under a BoF partnership.
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