Of course, while offering fast, free shipping is critically important, it is also difficult and costly to offer, making many question the sustainability of fast and free delivery. There are some who believe that senders will have to stop “subsidising” delivery at some point—that it is not a race to the top, but a race to the bottom. They evaluate delivery through old models that are focused on minimising cost by consolidating delivery into regional processing centres, limiting their ability to offer the kind of last mile delivery that retailers need.
What retailers have realised is that the traditional delivery model is too difficult and costly for fast and free delivery. Instead, the answer is for inventory to be close to the consumer. That’s why retailers are investing heavily to create an omnichannel supply chain that enables greater speed, efficiency, transparency and flexibility.
So how are retailers investing to meet consumer expectations sustainably and efficiently? These five trends toward an omnichannel future are reshaping supply chains—and demand a corresponding change from traditional postal organisations.