The pandemic accelerated ecommerce growth in 2020, however, as the pandemic began to subside, many consumers continued to utilize online ordering and curbside pickup.
Consumers embraced the advantages of not having to enter a store, spending time searching for items, or waiting in line to check-out. Many retailers and grocers were not fully prepared to handle the increased volume of online orders and as a result were sent scrambling to solve the challenge of direct-to-consumer parcel shipments and curbside pickup.
Many retailers are “rethinking” their strategy to embrace automation at the store level to satisfy the increase in demand for curbside convenience. Some are implementing micro-fulfillment automated storage and retrieval systems in centralized stations to accommodate the uptick in orders. Others are introducing autonomous mobile robotic technology in their distribution centers to alleviate labor challenges.
Additionally, with the implementation of automated solutions at the retail store level, omni-channel retailers can use inventory throughout their network to fill orders more closely to the customer. Online orders that previously were fulfilled by a distribution center can now be routed to centralized automation fulfillment hubs that are closer to the customer’s location, reducing shipping time and costs.
At KPI, we specialize in building resilience, increasing scalability, improving agility and reducing labor dependence. Contact KPI to help evaluate the value of a customized solution.