If you’ve been a part of the eCommerce world for very long, you’ve seen how quickly the retail supply chain can shift due to customer demands.

These days, it’s fine to wait a week for shipping, tomorrow more than four days is just too many. As customer needs and wants evolve, so must your supply chain, as well as your entire eCommerce operation.

Agility is Everything in the Modern Ecommerce Supply Chain

There are so many buzzwords flying around the world of logistics that it’s easy to get lost.

Last year’s “omnichannel” turns into this year’s “lean” or “agile” with almost no pause for breath. That’s why it’s so important to keep up with industry news on both forward-facing and reverse logistics fronts, because they’re going to have enormous impacts on your bottom line.

Lagging behind can hurt you in ways like these:

  • Causing you to miss out on new opportunities. For eCommerce operations, new opportunities to get products into different markets and channels actually could appear every day.But if you’re not working with a supply chain that can flex and move at will, you may miss the narrow window you have to take advantage of these opportunities. Your team has to be willing to change to survive in the highly competitive world of eCommerce.
  • Costing you more money. Big Data has made it possible to determine exactly how many steps it takes for a warehouse worker to move a specific product from the pick floor to the pack floor, but some eCommerce companies are still struggling with basics like knowing just how many items they have in stock in a location and when to reorder inventory.Your data needs to be looking at the whole picture, as well as informing your supply chain about what’s needed where. Agile supply chains can move inventory where it’s needed fast, even if you’re more brick-and-mortar than eCommerce.
  • Losing customers. When you’re not agile enough, your customers will notice. As their patience for backorders and slower-than-the-competition deliveries wears out, you’ll see how you really rank. For most eCommerce shoppers, loyalty is a fleeting notion, and for good reason. There are plenty of shops like yours that can provide them with the same level of service, so you have to always be striving to add something extra to the package.

Your retail eCommerce operation relies on your staying ahead of the evolving supply chain, no matter where it leads. Ultimately, your customers are going to vote with their pocketbooks and if you want to remain a viable operation, being prepared for changes in retail logistics is everything.