One of the things in the world of supply chain management right now is the concept of the supply chain as a retail channel. As you know the newest buzzword in retail is Omnichannel, but that misses the mark, because you’ve got a connection with the supply chain across between consumers and retailers that are bringing more players into this retail industry.
One of the big players coming up is the manufacturers, and they’re sales channels through the eCommerce platforms directly to the consumers.
Ten years ago, retailers, in an effort to expand their offerings to consumer in the eCommerce section sector, started a strategy that they began calling “Endless Aisle” which meant offering up products from various manufacturers directly through the retailer’s eCommerce channel. This would be done so that the consumer would place an order on the e-commerce channel and the retailer would send that order to be filled directly by the manufacturer.
Over the years what you have seen is that manufacturers have taken this concept and accepted it; really embraced it to open up a new channel for themselves, as well as changing, improving, and extending their supply chains.
Consumers are now exerting more control in their shopping patterns and shopping habits so you can see in many ways these concepts really taking hold.
It’s going to be a very turbulent time for many retailers, we’re going to see um many retailers either shutting down or dramatically changing.
The retail market is becoming more of a collaborative marketplace. Consumers are collaborating with other consumers in order to shop and purchase from different retailers and wholesale manufacturers; they are using the the supply chain, the carriers and freight forwarders and middlemen to help them to coordinate this. So everybody is getting a little piece of the pie, and no one retailer is going to control the market
If you look back a few years when Amazon first came in the market place, nobody thought that an online retailer would be able to sell books. But within two go two years they had rebuilt the market and driven major book retailers out that had been there for decades.
So we have an example of this happening in the past and now it seems to be happening again.
This post is a partial excerpt from the Logistically Speaking Podcast, Episode 5. Click here to listen to the podcast