COVID Pandemic Brings Innovation to Retailers

Guest blog by MHI Member Company, National Cart Co.

E-commerce has steadily increased over the years, but it has been the primary sales channel over the past few months due to the COVID Pandemic.  In May alone e-commerce sales in the US spiked to nearly 93% (Source: Retail Dive).  Many retailers are getting creative, trying to meet consumer demands due to the sudden increase in online orders.

Retailers are facing over forecast demands. They are creating popup micro fulfillment centers; these facilities help remove some challenges of getting goods to the customer quickly. They are set up in various locations, which places the inventory closer to the customer. They offer flexibility to quickly and cost-effectively build out fulfillment operations in high-demand areas.

Customer’s expectations are higher than ever. Many retailers are leveraging their brick and mortar stores as a mini fulfillment center, and customers want faster shipments at a lower cost. Store associates are part of the picking process to make that short delivery window.

Grocery and retail stores who never had curbside pickup have to adapt quickly to make sure they stay relevant to the driving demands and adhere to social distancing recommendations.

Needless to say, the pandemic has disrupted the Grocery, Retail, and Fulfillment industries, but they will continue to adapt to the new “normal.” These industries can win in the long-term by looking at e-commerce as a key sales channel, be nimble, and identify how they can make their order fulfillment process better. This change can ultimately improve their operations not only through the pandemic, but also during peak season, and as their company grows.