DHL Launches Market Trend “E-Tailers’ Almanac 2020”

Feb 19, 2020 | Corporate Member News

  • In its first edition, the E-tailers’ Almanac provides recommended time periods for promotion planning and shipping
  • Four 2020 trends identified based on DHL eCommerce Solutions’ online merchant customer feedback and findings 

DHL eCommerce Solutions, a division of the world’s leading logistics company, Deutsche Post DHL Group has launched its E-tailers’ Almanac for 2020 to help online merchants plan their promotions for e-commerce peak shipping dates in 2020. In its first edition, the E-tailers’ Almanac also provides a brief overview of  four overarching trends found within the e-commerce sector in the U.S. in the past year based on DHL eCommerce Solutions customer feedback and developments within its 19 U.S. distribution centers.

The four market trends identified include:

  • Multi-carrier approach gaining popularity: gone are the days of a single sweep of the dock carrier. Today, online merchant companies are increasingly recognizing the multiple cost savings and delivery time benefits generated by using a multicarrier approach to shipping their e-commerce goods.  E-tailers have the option, through multi-carrier software solutions currently available in the market, to ship with multiple carriers based on various criteria, such as lightweight versus heavy weight packages, regional versus national shipments or cross border versus domestic shipments. 
  • Day certainty trumps speed: online retailers are often looking for the perfect combination of speed at the lowest possible cost, but based on online merchant customer feedback, many are willing to forego the fastest shipping option in return for accuracy and day-definite shipment options with the ability to use web tracking. DHL eCommerce Solutions’ data and feedback has revealed customer demand for expected date of delivery as opposed to delivery date ranges (e.g. 2-8 day windows) has significantly increased. DHL eCommerce Solutions’ Expedited Max day-definite product has proven to be its fastest growing product with double digit growth in the last year.
  • Inventory stays close to home: despite increased talk about micro fulfillment centers in urban spaces and the expectation that many online retailers will spread their inventory across regions to reduce shipping zones and cost, this trend is developing at a slower pace than once expected given the complexity and cost of regionalization. Many large online retailer merchants continue to dispatch inventory from one to two sites close to their operations to localize shipping points and partner with 3PLs closer to consumers to improve transit times. 
  • Inventory management will become more sophisticated: the last 12 months has seen a significant spike in online merchants adopting more sophisticated multi-channel inventory management systems with end-to-end tracking, real-time shipping rates and in-transit details, making for improved inventory management, transparency and better planning for spikes in volume. The adoption of these types of software has shown to significantly enhance e-tailer and shipper relationships given improved forecasting that results in more efficient management and processing of volumes in distribution centers.

“Throughout the year, at DHL eCommerce Solutions we take the pulse of our customers and prospects to identify how to best meet their needs, and as a result, we have compiled all the themes and trends we’ve identified and packaged it into this E-tailers’ Almanac,” said Lee Spratt, CEO for DHL eCommerce Solutions, Americas. “The Almanac includes a guide for online merchants to know when is the best time to ramp up their promotions and ensure they ship their light weight parcels on time to their customers for the big e-commerce holidays in 2020.”

With a semi-compressed peak season expected at the end of 2020 and an increase in special holidays and early promotion periods throughout the year, the E-tailers’ Almanac offers time frames for new and experienced online merchants to consider when planning their promotions and shipments.

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