Delivery Speed: A Special Report on Omnichannel Fulfillment for 2016

As we finalize 2016's busiest fulfillment period, we also begin preparing our findings to study our progress on meeting service levels, customer satisfaction and overall efficiency.

It's important, during this time, to look at our historical data. What happened last year that made this year possible? What worked, and what didn't? How has the omnichannel fulfillment world changed?

The Kurt Salmon 2016 Omnichannel Fulfillment Study gives us some great insight.

According to the National Retail Federation, 2015 online sales grew 9% to $105 billion, and leading retailers mostly made it to the finish line on time, but they may soon be hobbled by two hurdles: increasing cost to serve and a gassed-out carrier network.

Last-minute ordering during the 2015 holiday season led to substantial increases in the error rates across carrier providers. The same is likely true for 2016—though, as of this posting, we don't know—and minimizing errors is really a group effort. SP Express provides dynamic shipping data to the carriers, our customers, and we can provide tracking and delivery information to end consumers, as well.

Higher-than-anticipated e-commerce volumes stressed carrier networks during Cyber Monday ordering. For example, 9% of packages sent via UPS Ground encountered some type of unexpected delay in the shipping process, as did 4% of FedEx’s packages. Neither of these rates has been seen since 2013.
— Kurt Salmon Special Report

The growth continued through 2016, extending an upward trend toward a balancing revenue stream from brick-and-mortar and online sales. Carrier networks like FedEx and UPS were again challenged to increase their pricing and caution partners about service levels and delivery times. In general, the carriers have maintained a high level of performance, on trend with growth from online giants like Amazon and Walmart.com. 

We want our customers to be able to send order data automatically, so orders can be packed and shipped the same day they are received. The sooner orders are accurately released to our delivery partners, the faster they will be received by the end consumer.

omnichannel ecommerce solutions

For the single-channel seller, SP Express supports Shopify, Magento, bigCommerce, Volusion, and many other direct-to-consumer ecommerce platforms. But, for growing sellers with multiple sales channels, we are also able to connect drop-shipping capability to your Amazon, eBay or Walmart.com channels. As your fulfillment partner we know how important accurate and real-time inventory data can be. Our team of developers and software engineers are able to navigate any eCommerce fulfillment challenge, prioritizing security and scalability.

Kurt Salmon’s Omnichannel Fulfillment Study acts as an instant replay on retailers’ peak-season fulfillment to help identify how to train for the rest of 2016. After all, the race to please consumers is a marathon, not a sprint.

Online growth is going to continue, and this is an important kind of growth to acknowledge, because it prepares us for future trends in omnichannel fulfillment. It also prepares our customers, by giving them the confidence they need to succeed across multiple sales channels using our fulfillment network.