Posts tagged with "trade"

4 Fulfillment Details to Look for in 2019

If there’s one shining light guiding e-retailers in an industry both fueled and marred by the details, it’s to focus on the customer experience. Though everything technically affects the customer experience to some degree, nothing plays a central role in satisfying customers more than the fulfillment process.

So it makes sense that these four fulfillment details to look for in 2019 all directly enhance customer satisfaction and shopping convenience.

Let’s learn more about what’s in store for this year and beyond.

Heavy Investments in AI and Automation

It’s clear that fast and affordable shipping is the new standard in fulfillment. But for retailers to meet these standards they’ll have to achieve automation at scale — things like robot-operated warehouses, self-driving trucks, and drones. JD.com is one company after Amazon that’s investing heavily in these areas. The Chinese retailer’s already operating humanless warehouses of the future, and completed their first government-approved drone delivery in Indonesia in early January.

Meanwhile, DHL is investing $300 million to quadruple robots in their warehouses this year, and Uniqlo announced in late 2018 that they were investing over $770 million in automating its warehouse and distribution system. Top titans like Amazon, Walmart, Zappos, UPS, and FedEx already operate automated warehouses, but as long as the automation race is ongoing, so too will these companies’ developments.

Lenient Return Processes

Brands like Ikea, Amazon, Target, Walmart, Costco, Zappos and Nordstrom all have success in common, but they also have customer-friendly — some would say exceedingly lenient — return policies. These two things aren’t mutually exclusive.

Reverse logistics is an absolute mess for the typical online business — eating into profits and making operating margins hard to assess. Look for companies to develop better systems to facilitate returns, process returned products and improve their quality of shipping to reduce the number of defective goods. This will coincide with brands adopting more lenient returns policies, as well as leading with them in their promotional tactic. After all, this is a great way to acquire new customers, curb cart abandonment rates and increase average order value. Of course, brands will need to take measures to address fraud and/or abuse as they change their terms and conditions.

Subscription-Based Ordering for Everyday Products

Regardless of how material we are, we all use and need certain products on a daily basis. The thought of not having any toothpaste left before going to sleep, running out of toilet paper at the wrong time, or not have any groceries in the house when you want to prepare a meal is certainly offputting. This is why the subscription e-commerce market has grown by more than 100 percent per year over the past five years.

While subscription e-commerce is nothing new (we all remember Dollar Shave Club’s viral takeoff), we’ve seen other gems like Blue Apron and Birchbox come about in recent years. We’ll continue to see more of these subscription-based models, as well recurring order options and monthly boxes for everyday items offered by stores ranging from those that sell beauty products from home to big-name brands. Consumers, always looking for more convenience and less ‘one-off’ errands will respond positively.

Checkout-Free Retail

While automation at scale will need to occur to power what’s growing steadily into a $5 trillion global market, it’s unlikely some customers will ever be satisfied with delivery timeframes. Further, complications like package theft and damage in transit aren’t going away overnight. This sets the table for a lot more check-out free retail stores. Amazon Go’s experiment appears to be successful, with allegedly thousands more to come.

As Forbes notes, plenty of other retailers are getting involved as well — this includes GoodHousekeeping Lab via their Mall of America pop-up shop, Alibaba’s supermarket chain Hema, as well as Bingobox and AVA Retail. Meanwhile companies like Zippin, Standard Cognition and Trigo are providing the solutions to accomplish this.

Checkout-free stores will be the ultimate commercial win-win. Retailers deal with less payroll, less inventory, and less theft, while consumers get unobstructed convenience in their shopping experiences.

And, while the first examples we’re seeing are on a small, convenience-type level, in-person transactions of all sorts will shift accordingly—creating the need for micro-warehouses (think Ikea) that can serve both front and back-end operations.

Don’t expect all these details to bleed into every consumer experience shortly, but this year will mark a pivotal wave of progress for each of these areas.

Timberwolves Trade Jimmy Butler To Sixers

By Reid Urban

The Jimmy Butler era in Minnesota has finally ended.

The Timberwolves have agreed to send their star, along with Justin Patton, to the Philadelphia 76ers for Robert Covington, Dario Saric, Jerryd Bayless, and a 2022 second-round pick. A trade call with the league to finalize the deal has been set for Monday.

For Sixers GM Elton Brand, this is his first major move since being named the GM a few months ago. This move will now allow the Sixers to have a third star on the team alongside Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid without luring an impact player in the 2019 free agency period.

Mark Suleymanov of Hoops Rumors believes that this move could also take pressure off their 2017 first overall pick Markelle Fultz, as many had expected him to be the third star on that team. That has not worked out the way Philadelphia wanted it to yet.

Assuming that all goes well in Philadelphia, it could signal the way for both sides to reach an agreement on a long-term. In fact, it is believed Philadelphia wants to have the big three of Butler, Simmons, and Embiid around long-term. However, a major injury or poor play from Simmons and Embiid alongside Butler could diminish that possibility.

As for Minnesota, this trade ends the two-month saga of Butler asking for a trade request. This all started before training camps got underway before the season began, and this news of a trade request broke during a meeting between Butler and Timberwolves coach and president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau. Although Butler didn’t initially report to camp, he eventually rejoined the team after the Wolves couldn’t find a trade partner right away. However, things took a somewhat sour turn with Butler’s expletive-filled rant in a preseason practice. Now, things have resolved themsleves, as Butler’s departure will give the team an opportunity to focus on a future centered around their young core in both Karl Anthony-Towns and Andrew Wiggins.

The Wolves will now add both Covington and Saric to their long-term plans. Saric won’t be a restricted free agency until 2020 and Covington is locked up through 2022. The team understandably didn’t want to take a step back in their roster-building process, having made the playoffs last season after a long absence out. As for Bayless, if the team can’t find a plan for him, he’ll be most likely bought out by the Wolves.

Looks like both teams got what they wanted in this deal. It gives Butler an opportunity to play with some stars and potentially become a long-term asset for the Sixers, while the Wolves get some players and a pick, in hopes that this trade will help them continue where they left off.

NOSACONN

New Orleans South Africa Connection, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not- for-profi¬t organization promoting music, art, culture, film, trade, and arts in education for economic development and tourism between the USA and Africa.

NOSACONN was founded by Damon J. Batiste in 1998, it is a non-profit organization, comprised of business, civic, community, and entertainment industry leaders, both in New Orleans and South Africa. This unique partnership has facilitated the production special of events in the City of New Orleans and the Republic of South Africa, concurrently, for the past three years.

These activities have allowed NOSACONN to serve as a pioneer in presenting art, culture, and tourism as a forefront of economic development. It has recognized the field of arts, culture, and education on a local, regional, and international level as a tremendous networking tool for job creation, tourism, and self-empowerment. It has also served as an incubator for economic sustainability.

Over the past five years, NOSACONN has produced outdoor concerts, educational workshops, empowerment seminars, business expositions, and youth enhancement programs. Since its inception, the Organization has employed over 250 people; and has been instrumental in mentoring youth in the local school system in New Orleans. NOSACONN, through the Arts in Education Initiative, will be largely responsible for delivering and / or coordinating the delivery of the content associated with the Entrepreneurship, Science, Technology, English, Arts, and Mathematics components of the LET’S TEAM program. This will be done in partnership with local schools and tertiary institutions, as well as with other stakeholders.

LET’S TEAM is a partnership initiative between the New Orleans South Africa Connection (NOSACONN) based in New Orleans, and Equilibrium Coaching Academy based in Johannesburg. This joint venture seeks to equip young people in schools, tertiary education institutions, and in communities and workplaces with a range of knowledge, skills, systems, and tools to assist them in becoming all they can be — personally and professionally.

The key here is to specifically increase awareness, interest, and capability amongst Black youths — and especially young Black females — in careers in various art forms, either as employees or entrepreneurs. As members of the Millennials or Generation Y cohort, young people are perfectly poised to integrate the advances of 21st century technology with time-tested learning and thinking systems to escalate productivity and performance in their studies, their jobs, and their lives. The LET’S TEAM program is the ideal vehicle to advance this.

Experience has revealed that most students learn for the next test or exam — and that many are barely able to recall even a fraction of what they learned mere days later. For those whose families can afford to, private tuition has become the go-to crutch that helps them get that ‘grade’. All it does really is teach ‘learned helplessness’, rather than prepare young people to navigate the challenges in their lives ahead. What they need are more exciting, engaging ways of learning; knowing how to ‘think’ their way out of the challenges that life throws at them; and navigating their respective and collective journeys in becoming valuable members of their communities and citizens of the world. LET’S TEAM helps our young people to be just that.

EQUILIBRIUM COACHING ACADEMY:

Equilibrium is led by Pravienna Naidoo and Tshenolo Motlhala, two highly-trained and committed individuals whose life mission is to facilitate the development and growth of young people through four key areas of intervention in the LET’S TEAM program: Academic Life Coaching; Accelerated Learning; Effective Thinking; and Total Wellbeing.

LETS TEAM: TIMINGS AND METHODOLOGY
The LET’S TEAM program is best delivered in weekly sessions, face-to-face with participants, allowing for the most valuable learning experience; providing time for application, review, and alignment between sessions. The three-month program can be delivered as a self-study, video based program as an alternative to face-to-face learning; enabling coverage to a larger number of learners — at a fraction of the cost.

NOSACONN has made a substantial cultural impact over the years. A few of the many are:

– NOSACONN enters into partnership with the United Way of Southeast Louisiana to establish the Creative Industries and Cultural Exchange Center in February 2013. The center will generate and sustain long-term growth in the creative industries through the investment in and educational enrichment of the youth of New Orleans, by providing a 21st century platform for the exchange of global digital media and culture.

– NOSACONN selected to participate in two national pilots; The White House Initiative on Turnaround Arts and The After school Corporation (TASC), providing after school and summer programming to help turnaround low-performing schools in underserved areas in 2012.

– NOSACONN expanded to France by partnering with the US Embassy in France to focus on Arts Integration and Education in November 2012.

– MOU Signing of NOSACONN & National Heritage Council of South Africa to further promote international synergy in the arts between USA & South Africa during World Cup 2010 in Johannesburg

MISSION STATEMENT

– Advocate for international cultural tourism stimulation for economic development
– Promote cultural development throughout the disaster recovery efforts in Louisiana
– Host more events with South African Ambassadors in Partnership with World Trade Center than any other organization in the city since 2004

NOSACONN remains committed to it’s international culture exchange mission with the African continent
which has been instrumental in forging alliances between New Orleans icons and South Africa since 1999