The holidays are over but many businesses still have significant amounts of seasonal inventory left in the warehouse. Meanwhile, they expect approximately 11% of sales will be returned resulting in even more inventory. The longer these items sit in the warehouse, the more costs they incur and the harder they become to get rid of.
At the start of the B2B Next Conference & Exhibition, conference founder Andy Hoar shared a revealing story. Six years ago, a company hired him to host a B2B ecommerce event and a dozen people showed up. Last week, 700 people sat in front of Hoar for the inaugural B2B Next event in Chicago, a clear sign of the tremendous interest in and growth of this field.
In the manufacturing and distribution industries, the most recent – and likely the most profound – disruption is the rise of Amazon Business, Amazon’s B2B marketplace and platform.
Efficiently and cost-effectively getting a shirt, hat and shoes delivered to a customer in Billings, Mont. when a retailer’s stock spans warehouses from Burlington, Vt. to Bellevue, Wash. and a physical store in Baltimore is no small feat. Yet, for even the smallest retailers, it’s imperative to balance customer expectations with profitability — whether the order is shipped from a warehouse, shipped from a store, drop shipped or picked up in store.