There is no question that Covid-19 has and will continue to change the face of retail, from the way consumers shop to the way retailers operate across their business.
From a supply chain perspective, Bonnie Ryan, Director Freight, Logistics and Industrial Sectors at GS1 Australia, says the pandemic has had "massive impacts".
“Among other things, the rise in online shopping has added enormous amounts to the distribution networks and increased demand for transport as it tries to cover higher freight volumes. Hours were inconsistent, and then there are the tightened security protocols that Covid has instigated in all locations where goods are picked up and delivered, ”she says.
According to James McKew, Regional Director of Universal Robots APAC, Covid-19 has accelerated the need for reshoring, shortened supply chains and increased competition between manufacturers (and retailers).
"Quality and quantity remain in a delicate balance as manufacturers manage input and output – and increase to meet increasing consumer demands," he says. "With travel restrictions in place in many countries, consumers are spending their extra money on shopping and manufacturers cannot afford to miss a beat."
Adding to this discussion, Sean Mitchell, partner at Pollen Consulting Group, says that our new ways of living and working after the pandemic have resulted in major behavioral changes among consumers that include choice (SKU growth), convenience, enjoyment, immediacy, and a contactless one Need environment.
“For example, home delivery is evolving from fast and trackable to contactless, and click-and-collect has become a major shopping channel and growth driver for retailers – 35% of people with click-and, according to (research company) Forrester -Collect to buy additional products, "he says.
“We are also more aware of our environmental impact and look for products and services that are both ethically sourced and sustainably delivered.
"All of this is happening in an environment where international networks are stifled due to the convergence of shipping rationalization, reduction in port capacity due to Covid, limited air cargo capacity and increasing demand."
Read in the October issue of Retail World how corporate service providers are helping retailers to maximize the efficiency of their supply chains in the new normal and beyond.