Recently, Supply Chain Brain hosted a webinar, “Overcoming the Barriers to an Effective Omnichannel Shipping Strategy,” featuring Pierbridge and its partners Banyan Technology and ConnectShip. During this 50-minute session, the expert logistics panel touched upon several important market factors and trends impacting shippers today and into the future, while highlighting the impact on omnichannel shipping.

While there was more information than can fit in the limited space of a blog, here are a few of the key takeaways from this critical webinar.

eCommerce still ticking upward

There is a lot of focus in the shipping and logistics industry on eCommerce. While it feels as if eCommerce dominates the retail landscape, U.S. domestic eCommerce will continue to experience double-digit growth. According to eMarketer, it will reach almost $1 trillion in sales in 2023 – nearly double 2018’s $514 billion sales figures. By any measure, this is impressive growth. And yet in 2023, it will still only represent 16 percent of total retail sales, leaving a lot of room for growth.

“eCommerce is growing because buying habits have transformed over the last several years,” said Pierbridge Managing Director Bob Malley during the webinar. “We’re all buying more online, but most people don’t realize that eCommerce purchasing still represents a relatively low percentage of retail sales.”

Global shipping driving shipping growth

Much of that growth is going to be driven by the continuing expansion of international shipping, with China being the focal point for much of this bump.

“There are over 600 or 650 million digital buyers in China, and they represent anywhere from 55% to 60% of the overall population,” Tim Leary, Director of Operations for ConnectShip, told the online audience. “So, you’re seeing this growth is not only the domestic China market but also a lot of exporters that are trying to move goods cross-border.”

Omnichannel taking hold

All of this eCommerce and international shipping is spurring retailers to shift to an omnichannel shipping strategy allowing them to ship faster and cheaper to meet the demands of customers.

“They’re competing with the online marketplaces, so everything’s fast and is promoted as free shipping. A lot of the brick-and-mortar retailers can’t absorb billions of dollars in lost shipping costs,” said Lance Healey, Founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Banyan Technology. “So, they’re leveraging their stores and inventory sources to whatever’s closest to the consumer. They already have the existing stores that they can convert into these mini DCs.”

Watch the on-demand version of the webinar to hear more in-depth discussion about these and other topics that are impacting shipping and logistics as retailers move to an omnichannel strategy, including:

  • Current omnichannel fulfillment trends
  • Challenges and critical issues facing logistics managers
  • What the emerging omnichannel transportation model looks like