How can retailers compete with the logistics dominance of the e-commerce behemoths?



Tags: Inventory Management, Distribution, Supply Chain Management, Lean, E-commerce, Fulfillment, Retail Logistics

Don’t view this as a competition with e-commerce behemoths, but as another sales channel in your omnichannel strategy. Treat it as such and develop your strategy to provide differentiation on customer service and trust to be able to drive direct sales, while still leveraging other channels to build brand awareness.

—Scott Hebert



An e-commerce platform is required. Many logistics positions have transitioned remotely and therefore increased the demand for digital solutions. You may not be able to compete with the behemoths in all verticals, but differentiation in niche markets will always be desired. Establish a good reputation and maintain a good brand. From this point, a customer base grows.

—Adam Whelpley

Transportation Logistics Manager


Beat them at their own game. E-commerce giants are still typically moving slowly. Beating them is about moving quickly and precisely and focusing on execution.

—Daniel Sokolovsky

Co-Founder and CEO


Adopting automated systems is key for smaller retailers to keep pace with e-commerce giants. To meet the high demand for online orders and address the cost of increasing speed to the consumer, companies are looking at automated system features and models to streamline fulfillment including micro-fulfillment, hub stores, and BOPIS.

—Alex Hempel

Senior Director RSC VST

ORBIS Corporation

Thoughtfully execute all communications and customer touch points to leave an impression and promote acquisition and retention. Every point of contact with a potential client—from web store design, to ease of checkout, and all the way to receiving a beautiful branded shipment—can help influence a purchasing decision.

—Brendan Heegan


Boxzooka Fulfillment & Global Ecommerce

Keys to success are strategic distribution points, communication, technology, and touching a vertical that strives for the utmost superior customer service expectation. You have a winner if you can get to the heart of what the client and their customers need, with a decent price and ease of use.

—Nicole Glenn

Founder and CEO

Candor Expedite

Better understand stock levels and SKU-level demand to make effective promotions and full price decisions. To compete with big e-tailers, retailers can’t hesitate when making promotion decisions, and must prepare with better data insights and automated reports.

—Juliana Prather



Move inventory closer to the end customer, leveraging the gig economy and using technology to create an asset-light, scalable, and flexible supply chain.

—Adam Bryant



Utilize your physical store network for online fulfillment, last-mile services, and customer service. Retail stores are typically closer to the consumer, allowing for faster online fulfillment, last mile, and return services while good customer service can build strong relationships with customers.

—John Haber

President, Parcel,

Transportation Insight

Find tools that integrate seamlessly with 3PL providers. This can help small businesses successfully fulfill large orders and keep up with the big guys.

—Doug LaBahn

Chief Marketing Officer


Utilize flexible automation solutions, cloud-based software, rapid installation/integration, and opex financing models to gain access to advanced technology without the need for large capital budgets or long commissioning timelines.

—Matthew Cherewka

Director, Business Development and Strategy

Vecna Robotics

Focus on fulfillment. Can you deliver for your customers? That’s the top way to succeed in e-commerce, whether it’s processing returns, producing goods, or delivering products. Ensuring you’re running smoothly from staffing to production to deliveries to returns is the path to success in this environment.

—Carl Schweihs

President and COO

PeopleManagement, a TrueBlue company

Leverage highly democratized, low-cost data, like location analytics, to manage and optimize your supply chain. The near real-time nature of this data enables increased visibility and streamlined communication throughout supply chains.

—Jeff White

Founder and CEO

Gravy Analytics

In e-commerce, consumer trust is everything. Any company—regardless of size—that fails to accurately communicate a product’s status within the supply chain risks damaging its customer relationships. Consumers are more likely to shop with businesses whose product availability and delivery information is accurate and consistent, even if there may be a longer wait time.

Thomas Kasemir

Chief Product Officer


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