eCommerce logistics trends 2023

Tomasz Sączek

In recent years, we have witnessed many innovations in e-commerce logistics. As logisticians, we benefit from digitalization. But can companies take advantage of it? In the face of the coming crisis, they will have to. At the same time, we meet the increasingly higher ecological requirements of customers.

Currently, the logistics industry still accounts for approximately 24% of global carbon dioxide emissions. However, more and more organizations are focusing on the development of ecological and at the same time economic solutions. Especially in reverse logistics, which significantly increases the carbon footprint of the E-Commerce channel.

I predict that in 2023 the number of companies reporting CO2 emissions will increase as a confirmation that they are not indifferent to the environment. Many will also choose to audit their logistics operations to identify sustainability improvements. In particular, in terms of replacing vehicles powered by combustion engines with electric vehicles, and from here it is only a step towards autonomous delivery vehicles and full optimization of last mile costs.

I don’t expect a breakthrough or numerous implementations within a year. Nevertheless, the next several months will be a period of analysis of many ecological, logistic and business cases.

Damian Kołata

The development of omnichannel means that not only the goods themselves and their place of delivery are becoming more and more important, but also the place of their shipment to the final customer. However, it does not have to be a central warehouse several hundred kilometers away from our place of residence. Equally, thanks to fulfillment from store, we can receive a pair of ordered jeans from a stationary store located in our city.

This is how we move from 2D logistics to 3D logistics. We already know that automation cannot effectively replace all processes performed by humans. That is why logistics operators and leading E-Commerce players are turning to tools that use artificial intelligence and model solutions in the mirror world.

Global data shows that the picking robot market, which in 2019 was worth slightly over USD 95 million in the US, is forecast to reach USD 1.6 billion in just three years, i.e. it will record a CAGR of as much as 62.5%. The market for G2P (goods-to-person) robots will grow fourfold over the next three years, and already in 2024, 50% of organizations operating in the supply chain will invest in applications supporting artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced analytics (AA).

Just as Microsoft created digital equivalents of one and a half billion buildings and over thirty million square kilometers of vegetation to create “Ms Flight Simulator”, in order to smoothly implement processes, when planning warehouses 4.0 we will create 3D scans of halls and shelves, perform virtual tours and simulations.

Zbigniew Gawęda

Logisticians will look at several issues in the coming year. First of all, multi-platform. E-Commerce wants to sell more and build its brands globally. We sell not only in our own store and multi-brand stores, but also on sales platforms (Amazon, Allegro, Zalando and many others) internationally.

Secondly, convenience at the last mile stage. Further development of parcel machines, more multi-courier devices, deliveries until 10 p.m. and on weekends, deliveries in specific time windows, development of systems enabling last mile shipment monitoring.

Third, further investments in automation. I know that this is a slogan that has been repeated by many for several years, but as labor and energy costs increase in 2023, we will continue to work on this type of investment, which, in addition to reducing manual work, will also reduce the rented space.

Finally, in terms of increasingly advanced systems. Not only a very good WMS, but a WMS integrated with sales platforms and many couriers enabling cross-border distribution, supported by volume plans from the related SCP system.

Żaneta Ścigała

On January 1, 2023, new regulations came into force implementing three EU directives known as the Omnibus, Digital and Goods Directives, which unify and strengthen the rules of consumer protection. The new regulations particularly affect the activities of entrepreneurs in the area of ​​E-Commerce.

The changes include, among others, extended information obligations, which in practice means the need to update the regulations of online stores. New categories of unfair market practices related to publishing consumer opinions have been introduced, which requires verification of procedures related to posting user comments.

Entrepreneurs are also obliged to implement new requirements regarding price marking and information about price reductions, as well as regarding offering contracts for the supply of content or digital services. Basically all entities operating online have new obligations. Including providers of online trading platforms (so-called marketplaces).

Marcin Klimaszewski

Macroeconomic factors will have a huge impact on the development of E-Commerce in 2023. Online growth will be stable and no one expects the same levels as in 2021. The development of sales in the E-Commerce channel may occur rather thanks to the growth in the B2B segment. However, B2C will actually decline as the purchasing power of individual consumers decreases.

On the other hand, the costs of fulfillment services are expected to increase. At the end of the year, rate indexation was announced by many operators. This is primarily due to the rising costs of energy and space rental, but also a double increase in the minimum wage, which will translate particularly into those logistics operations that are performed manually, and this is how most E-Commerce operations still work.

Failure to respond to wage pressure from employees may result in increased fluctuations – especially in entry-level warehouse positions. So how can we combat the expected migration of workers as well as rising costs? In the coming months, many organizations will try out analytical platforms and start modeling their operations virtually.

Marcin Kućmierz

Sustainability is playing an increasingly important role for e-commerce customers. According to a study conducted by PWC, already in 2021, two-thirds of surveyed millennials paid attention to aspects related to sustainable development when shopping. This includes, for example, buying products in environmentally friendly packaging or shopping from companies that are environmentally committed.

In light of this research, a clear picture emerges with regard to the sustainability needs of this generation, which is particularly strong in purchasing and will determine consumer behavior in the coming years. But the pressure doesn’t just come from customers. Resources are becoming more and more limited, which is also reflected in economic aspects such as rising costs.

Moreover, political pressure is growing. Regulations such as Germany’s new supply chain law are forcing large and medium-sized companies to make their logistics operations more sustainable and respect human rights and environmental standards. No wonder that for many E-Commerce players, sustainable development is one of the most important elements of long-term business strategies.

Adam Sobolewski

In 2023, the myth of permanent acceleration in eCommerce will be revised. We still have growth ahead of us. But rather single digits, and in the context of inflation in Europe exceeding 11%, it is certainly below investors’ expectations. What does this mean for the industry? Consolidation and with it an emphasis on optimizing operations, logistics and the supply chain.

More and more organizations are interested in eCommerce acquisitions. Recently, one of the largest eCommerce businesses in Poland – Morele.net – announced that it plans to acquire up to 4 digital brands in 2023. Each with a turnover value of not less than PLN 40 million per year, which is to ensure further dynamic development of the company. Similar plans can also be heard in the context of logistics operators supporting the industry and in market segments characterized by low margins. At the turn of the year, Getir acquired its current rival – Gorrilas – for USD 1.2 billion. The mentioned valuation was 15% lower than market expectations.

Therefore, interesting times await us, for which it is worth preparing by constantly “sharpening the saw”, with which we at E-LEA are always willing to help.

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