On a day-to-day basis, the industry of supply chain is being transformed by socio-economic growth and the behaviour of consumers. The logistics behind supply chain management is also adapting to these transformations like rapid advancements in technology. More than ever, transparency is now important to the consumer. Instant information and demand requirements have become a culture in the logistics industry, thanks to online shopping. Around these changes lies the consumer right at the heart, who is shaping the future of supply chain industry through modern technology and social media channels.
Multiple platforms for making a purchase are available to consumers today. This means one could purchase groceries in-store, over a call, online from the laptop or via an application on a tablet. Shopping across multiple platforms present a number of challenges for supply chain professionals, the most notable being efficient monitoring of stock as it travels from the warehouse to the store, onward to the customer and back again. Nowadays, it is common to find a tablet within a retail store that facilitates online orders and store transfers as part of the in-store experience. Here, the professionals must be able to accurately track larger quantities of goods as they travel further and faster than ever, reflecting a change in agility and speed for the supply chain industry.
Online shopping is increasing the pressure on the supply chain to continue with achieving high standards. Exclusive online retailers have helped establish a new type of consumer changing the industry. A modern shopper expects an experience that is quick and hassle-free from their virtual basket to their doorstep. In order to maintain efficiency and consumer trust, it is up to supply chain professionals to deliver and monitor this. A modern shopper also expects that goods will be delivered quickly, safely and at the lowest possible cost, if not for free. This expectation of instant demand and satisfaction is born of a consumer who knows about the market and the products. Thus, one error could cost businesses multiple customers for life.
Social media channels have a major implication for the supply chain as it increases transparency and connectivity of the industry worldwide. One cannot leave room for error as millions of people are connecting online and the different media platforms can make or break your business. With social media, supply chain professionals have a unique opportunity to access real-time feedback. Consumers utilise social media channels to connect with brands, who in turn produce content to reflect transparency. This transparent system enables companies to accurately predict and gain insight into consumer trends. And as social media continues to grow and change our day-to-day industry, so too does the opportunity for supply chain innovation.
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