The last decade has seen the emergence of North America’s premiere online retailer, Amazon, as the single largest force in retailing worldwide. Larger than the 20 next largest online retailers combined, Amazon has an incredible 200 million customers. Orders are shipped 24/7 from an amazing network of “fulfillment centres”, huge warehouses strategically located throughout North America.
Everything Amazon does is about growing their business. Some of their competitive practices have been labeled “predatory”. The company plans their entry into new business areas, and when possible enters into arrangements with existing sellers in that marketplace. They use their status and customer base to leverage the lowest possible prices from their suppliers, who may sometimes struggle with the volume of sales Amazon, can suddenly help them produce.
If forming a relationship isn’t possible, Amazon will source and market their own products, often at a lower price, which puts a lot of pressure on online retailers. Bricks and Mortar establishments are feeling the pinch of competition, too. Many are experiencing a phenomenon called “showrooming”, in which customers will go to their stores to do research and then use their smartphones to scan product UPCs, which they will then purchase online from Amazon. Amazon even offers a discount for shoppers who do this.
Regardless of your opinion of Amazon’s practices, you must admire the work that’s gone into their warehousing operations. Their latest design, the 8th generation fulfillment centre, is an amazing feat of engineering. There are 10 such centres across North America, employing more than 150,000 people and using more than 15,000 robots to keep their packages rolling out the doors, at peak times more than 15 million per day!
If your involves shipping items to your customers, you need to follow Amazon’s lead and find innovative ways to get your goods into their hands in short order. To find out about working with Crossdock Manitoba to fulfill your customers’ needs, call us at (204) 987-1500 or contact us online.