01 Jul As Rebound from Pandemic Continues, Consumers Still Relying on eCommerce
Since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ernst & Young has been tracking shifting consumer shopping trends using the EY Future Consumer Index and EY embryonic platform. To no one’s surprise, both show a significant and widespread industry shift toward e-commerce.
In surveying thousands of consumers, EY found that 80 percent of US consumers are still changing the way they shop. 60 percent are visiting brick and mortar shops less than pre-pandemic and 43 percent are shopping more often online for items they would have previously visited brick and mortar stores to purchase.
Retailers faced a near-panic situation overnight. Fulfillment center technology that had been planned for a future investment in accuracy and speed had suddenly become urgently essential to business success and survival. In fact, retailers invested nearly $10 billion in eCommerce, acquisitions and partnerships from May to July 2020 alone to meet consumer demand.
As the world continues to rebound from the pandemic, one thing remains clear – eCommerce isn’t going away, and retailers need to ensure they can deliver the perfect customer experience all the time. And as we continue to look ahead, it’s hard to believe, but in less than six months, families all over the world will be opening their holiday gifts.
Have your distribution operation strategies evolved to meet changing consumer shopping habits? Will your business struggle to fill orders over the Black Friday online shopping frenzy? According to the Voxware 2020 holiday shopping and shipping survey, 47 percent of respondents strongly agree that their expectations for correct and on-time delivery are higher during the holiday season.
Much of the success and failure to meet customer expectations falls on warehouse services and their ability to move product promptly and accurately through the distribution or fulfillment center. Voice automation, augmented reality and supply chain analytics are a few of the technologies that retailers have deployed to help meet the increased demands that eCommerce has brought forth.
Voice automation consistently helps warehouses operate 30 percent more efficiently. Voice technology is proven to optimize workflows and employee performance for all distribution center functions. From receiving and put away to packing and loading shipments for delivery (and all processes in between), voice-enabled workflows remove time and errors from warehouse activities.
Not only must retailers ensure that supply chains can execute online shipments on time and accurately, but they must also be able to ensure fast and convenient returns processing.
Another benefit to deploying a voice automation solution like Voxware includes the ease of onboarding. With the introduction of VoxTempo, its Natural Language Voice Recognition (NLVR) engine, Voxware has effectively eliminated the need for voice training, facilitating the ability to strap on a headset and immediately begin issuing commands which the system will recognize, register and provide a response.
Additionally, VoxTempo delivers far superior accuracy than the traditional speaker dependent or independent model used in industrial environments as well as popular consumer models utilizing similar technology.
As more consumers rely on eCommerce as their means for shopping, automation will be critical and companies that have not taken the initiative to optimize their distribution centers will struggle to deliver the flawless experience customers expect.
Have you put your operation in the best position to succeed and meet demand effectively? If there are areas that require attention, now is the time to address them. Contact Voxware today for a no-pressure consultation to learn how we can help.