Having the Right Cart Helps Retailers Improve Their E-Commerce Strategy

Guest blog by MHI Member Company, National Cart Co. 

Retailers continue to look for ways to enhance their customers’ journey by investing in e-commerce and Buy Online Pick Up In-Store programs as consumers have more options to shop and less time to spend in stores these days. Retailers have to develop a strategy to meet pickup/delivery times, order accuracy and efficiency, which are driven by the consumer’s expectations, and their competition in order to stay ahead in the market. Same day pick up and next day delivery are quickly becoming the industry norm.

Using a cart for your picking solutions is critical to meet consumer’s expectations to stay ahead of your competition. Pick carts allow you to decrease picking time, improve efficiency and accuracy. They assist with low and high volume picking environments. There are various types of carts that meet your picking needs, as every operation is different. Pick to tote carts provide access to totes that allow you to separate multiple orders and items. Furthermore, totes allow you to sort orders based on different temperature needs of the food such as ambient, freezer and refrigerate foods.  Utilizing the totes reduce the number of touches, eliminating unnecessary product moves.  There are customizable features provided by this cart to enhance user experience (scanner, labels, tablet, sign, bag, and a miscellaneous bin). The ergonomic handle feature helps decrease fatigue and improves your employee’s performance.

Ladder carts not only increase efficiency but also keeps the employees in a safe position while picking. They maneuver well through the aisles and take up minimal space compared to a step stool or stationary platform ladder. Ladder carts have many customizable features such as ergonomic handles that help with employee safety and fatigue.  Their flat shelving allows employees to pick items of various sizes and the lip on the shelves help retain products during transport. Shelves are customizable to accommodate different size totes, SKU’s, and product consideration. Adding a drop-down shelf to your ladder allows you to hold bulk items, writing material and other miscellaneous tools to help your employee’s picking more efficient.

High volume and small item pick carts allow you to select multiple orders, reduce touches, and pick time. High volume carts can meet both peak and non-peak demands.

As Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMR) and Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV) have entered the landscape of distribution centers and warehouses, helping them increase efficiency, many carts have been designed to accommodate those needs such as towable carts. These carts decrease material handling moves and improve transfer time. Carts towed by a motorized tugger and/or AGV allows workers to increase volume by pulling carts in a row. They help reduce fatigue by eliminating the physical labor of moving multiple pallets. Towable carts have helped expand upon their efficiency and quick return of their investment.

As retail environments change, it will require continuous innovation and adapting to customers expectations and experience. Carts and AGVs will improve the store’s efficiency, decrease picking time, and increase picking accuracy while reducing their overall operational costs.