Are You Current with the Shipping Trends?

Are You Current with the Shipping Trends?

As shipping costs continue to rise, and many are still traumatized by the long list of challenges this past holiday season, eCommerce businesses and retailers are beginning to shift towards new shipping trends. 

Many are looking for ways to better plan for the year ahead and help reduce overstocked inventory, whether it’s from product that arrived late and missed the holiday season or to better plan for the ebbs and flows of the upcoming busy seasons.

Are you well versed in the new shipping trends for success this year?

Just in Case Approach


The biggest trend and shift for eCommerce businesses right now is away from the just in time approach and implementing the “just in case” approach

Operating lean and efficiently are the hallmarks of the just in time approach, but in when challenges arise with supply chains and products become difficult to get to consumers quickly, it may lead to backorders and products arriving much later than customer expectations and demands.  Long term, this could impact returns, increased inventory, upset customers and unfortunately decrease the overall customer experience that your team has worked so hard to provide. 

The just in case approach, however, encourages businesses to plan for the unexpected and make more upfront investments to secure operations for the longer term, reducing the probability of products selling out and accounting for surges in demand and lapses in supply.

A successful transition from lean operations to more on-hand inventory isn’t necessarily all guess work on which inventory to bulk up on.  eCommerce businesses and retailers who are successful with this lean heavily on data to know which products have higher demand, areas of the country to store products in warehouses for more efficient shipping, and which economy carriers they can partner with for consistency in delivery times – all working to increase customer satisfaction. 


Reverse Logistics


Many retailers and eCommerce businesses offered extended return windows this past holiday seasons due to supply chain issues. With this much longer lag time between purchase and receiving the product, many times the return window could have already passed by the time the customer received the product – all due to issues mostly out of eithers’ control.

This extended return window causes several issues for eCommerce businesses – from increased costs which include additional postage to ship the product back to a warehouse, refunding the product cost to the customer, additional costs to then store the product in inventory, disposal costs of damaged products, and the list goes on.  

The “reverse logistics” trend allows customers to hold on to purchases that do not work out and they wish to return and shifts the responsibility from the company to the customer for final disposal of the no longer desired product.  Many are implementing this strategy when a product value is below the cost to return the product, simplifying the return process for both sides.




Many eCommerce businesses are looking for ways to enhance their inventory offering to take advantage of the “Frequently bought together” component on most online platforms today.  The retailers’ algorithm utilizes data from past purchases and items that are highly complementary to help entice customers to purchase additional products.

The emphasis for bundling is not only to provide a better customer experience with products that work well together, but to sell them simultaneously so that the shipping and packing expenses are reduced to one box and one shipping expense, which leads to increased profits for the exchange.

The critical component is to select products that are highly complementary and a unique bundling – making this a win-win for both the eCommerce business and the consumer.


Simplify with OPAL’s 4-in-1 Software Solution
EDI | Order Management | Warehouse Management | Shipping

OPAL is the innovative solution to simplify your small to mid-sized to enterprise business fulfillment needs in today’s rapidly transforming retail world.  

Your eCommerce business will be up and running quickly, with no downtime required for setup, allowing your team to focus on your strategic shipping approach and be ready for the upcoming busy seasons.

To learn more about how OPAL has partnered with many to scale their business to new levels of success, click here!

Click here to book your customized demo today.  We are here to support you through this time of change and are here to help you innovate and thrive!

The Delivery Revolution

Since the start of the pandemic, companies everywhere have risen to the occasion to meet consumer demand for faster at home delivery, but have still fallen short. Younger generations are driving demand for more flexible and much faster delivery times, leading companies to get creative through delivery systems or partnerships with new delivery companies.

Back in 2018, Domino’s Pizza launched what they termed the “delivery revolution,” with hotspots around the city allowing people to have pizza delivered to parks, sports fields and beaches. They listened to their customer’s demand for pizza delivery to non-traditional places and formulated a plan.

Years later, eCommerce and retailers are beginning to adopt a similar mindset – how do we get purchases to consumers faster amidst this supply chain crisis and era of delivery revolution?


According to experts, consumer spending increased from November 1 to 24th by 19.2%, decreased 1.4% during Cyber Week (Thanksgiving to Monday, and then increased by 5.6% After Cyber Monday. It seems the “extended holiday season” helped kick off the shopping season quite strong and consumer spending still was able to grow in the typical cyber week and holiday weeks for shopping.

Another major milestone hit his year was a significant uptick to days with more than $3B spent. Last year, there were 25 days with more than $3B spent daily, and this year there were even more with 38 days.

The food industry has worked with delivery services like Doordash, Uberteats and Grubhub because they have more optimized supply chains, multilayer distribution and software-assisted delivery expectations of its drivers and restaurant partners. There is a time sensitivity when delivering food that may not transfer over when trying to provide similar delivery services for products consumers purchased for same day delivery.

There also needs to be a shift to leverage customers’ transaction data to better understand purchasing patterns and behaviors. Many eCommerce organizations have relied on their retailers for this for years, and as the shift continues to the more popular D2C approach (Direct to Consumer sales), each individual eCommerce business will now be responsible for understanding purchasing trends to buy smart for upcoming seasons.

Are Consumers Ready for Drone Delivery?

Royal Mail is testing drone delivery in the UK and instead of a typical delivery van arriving with your package, a small aircraft, slightly bigger than a microwave oven, hovers above your driveway and lowers your package secured with something similar to fishing line onto the ground. The potential to improve logistics efficiency with speed, mobility, and tracking are huge, as well as the opportunity to reduce labor costs in a market that has such a huge labor shortage would be monumental.

However, though this is technologically viable option right now, there are still several scenarios that are needing additional testing and strategizing. For instance, this particular drone being tested at Royal Mail is quite reliable and affordable, but can only carry packages under 7 lbs. and are limited to a max of 6.25 miles.

Drones are also regulated by the FAA in the US and will require filing certain standards and operating procedures for delivery. This may not be a challenge in more rural areas, but then delivery companies are facing the maximum of a 6-mile delivery in a testing area that may have tens to hundreds of miles between homes and ranches.

It is also quite challenging to deliver in cities where one drop could service entire buildings with hundreds of different consumers. There are pilot programs in effect with robots, similar to the kiosk approach. The consumer is given their unique code that then opens the kiosk robot to provide access to only their purchase. This solves the access issue, but opens the door for many other points of error in the delivery process.

The Delivery Revolution is Here

As consumers begin to see successful same-day delivery of products, demand will only continue to rise making this a critical revolution to prepare for in this odd post pandemic supply chain crisis.

Studying the competition to see how newly announced partnerships like Ulta Beauty and Doordash work and knowing your eCommerce businesses data will help to take advantage of opportunities as they arise.

Simplify with OPAL’s 4-in-1 Software Solution
EDI | Order Management | Warehouse Management | Shipping

OPAL is the innovative solution to simplify your small to mid-sized to enterprise business fulfillment needs in today’s rapidly transforming retail world.

Knowing your consumer data as the evolution of D2C (direct sales) continues to grow, is critical. It is made possible by partnering with software solutions like OPAL to better understand your customers buying patterns, trends, areas of growth and weaknesses so that when the opportunity arises for same day delivery in this delivery revolution, your business is poised and ready.

OPAL is here to partner with you and help automate systems and data so that your eCommerce business can thrive. To learn more, , click here!

Click here to book your customized demo today.  We are here to support you through this time of change and are here to help you innovate and thrive!