Where once five-day delivery times were considered standard for e-commerce, now consumers routinely expect two-day or even next-day delivery. Same-day delivery is on the horizon.
These shifting expectations have forced e-commerce and omni-channel retailers to expand their distribution networks. It can be difficult—and expensive—to meet even the two-day requirement from a centralised distribution centre. Meeting same-day requirements will require material changes to existing supply chains and both order management and inventory management processes.
The solution is to move distribution closer to customers, which means “warehouses” are increasingly being located within densely populated areas, such as large cities, and orders are being fulfilled from retail stores. With land relatively scarce and prices on the rise, warehouse operators need to become innovative in how they use that space.