Since the pandemic, Canadians have embraced online shopping like never before. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, online sales of furniture/home furnishings increased 49% in Q1, 2021, while building materials/garden equipment was up a whopping 63.1%. At the same time, we all became more home-based, investing in furnishings, garden equipment, building materials, and much more. This was also evident in the Purolator network as we reported a 52% increase YoY in Q1, 2021 of oversized shipments.
So how do industry leaders find more efficient ways to handle e-commerce order fulfillment as demand increases, while meeting customer expectations for delivery time and oversized shipping charges?
Recently, senior representatives came together to discuss the challenges and share their perspectives on e-commerce order fulfillment, including oversized shipping. Multichannel Merchant’s 2022 Think Tank Forum, “Solving for Oversized Ecommerce Fulfillment”, included executives from Hudson’s Bay Co., Tractor Supply, Fruit of the Loom, Joybird, Balsam Brands, and Purolator.
While the online sales boom of the last two years was unprecedented, it may be here to last. If you’re looking to optimize B2C fulfillment, you’ll find the report especially interesting.
According to Azim Panju, General Manager of B2C Ecommerce for Purolator, “It’s interesting that even as things have reopened, we have not seen material decline of that demand.”
With all that online shopping experience under their belts, Canadians have become far more savvy, and they demand more from brands – and brands’ industry partners. It has and will continue to, influence e-commerce order fulfillment and oversized shipping. According to the report, providing accurate updates on order status or item availability helps maintain customer satisfaction.
“The game hasn’t changed but how you manage it needs to be just a little crisper, which is very important, especially in the bulky and oversized arena,” said Greg Mack, VP Store Delivery and Services, Tractor Supply Co.
Purolator’s Panju puts it this way: “There seems to be an expectation that everyone has to get back to the way it was before, and they need all items regardless of size at the same time.”
In the report, you’ll discover insights on other key areas, including:
- Actionable tactics to meet customer expectations.
- The importance of strong partnerships with suppliers and shipping partners can help improve customer experiences.
- The importance of choosing the right carrier to represent your brand.
- How to balance carrying costs for oversized items, longer transit times, and the availability of storage space.
- Why you should have a return strategy in place for oversized item returns.
With increases in e-commerce fulfillment for B2C oversized shipping, businesses have had to adapt their last-mile logistics to meet the demand.