What does agility mean for e-commerce?

Today, being agile is more important than ever. Over the past ten years there has been a great deal of uncertainty and volatility caused by recession and changing trade landscapes, so agility is a vital attribute for any sustainable and successful supply chain.

Any company looking to become more agile needs a fundamental rethink of how to manage their business and integrate processes Logistics and supply chain services should feature in this rethink in order to gain the best results.

The benefits will then be felt across every part of the business!

How your business can benefit from agile e-commerce

Today, across virtually every industry, e-commerce has emerged as the major driver for increased sales growth and profitability.

However, as a result, from retail and high-tech to aerospace, every sector has had to contend with rising customer expectations generated from doing business this way. A study of online retail shopping patterns provided some bracing insights into the importance of an agile supply chain:

  • 58% have abandoned a cart due to delivery times or because a date wasn’t provided at checkout.
  • 43% of European shoppers report that customer satisfaction hinges on timely delivery (the figure was slightly lower in the UK (37%) and considerably higher in Germany (54%).
  • Although 2 in 3 shoppers still prefer to have packages delivered to their home, the number is decreasing and 21% now prefer delivery to a local retailer instead.

(Source: UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper™ 2015)

In the words of Martin Christopher of the Cranfield School of Management, “The ability to be able to meet the demands of customers for ever-shorter delivery times and ensure that supply can be synchronised to meet the peaks and troughs of demand is clearly of critical importance in this era of ‘time-based competition’.”

This applies equally to small retailers relying entirely on e-commerce for sales and to industrial manufacturers looking to implement an online strategy to boost profits.

There’s increasing evidence that businesses with agile customer-centric services are duly rewarded — whichever industry sector they operate in.

In the high-tech sector, we helped GN Netcom bring in flexible transportation, warehousing, and technology solutions that doubled their supply chain productivity. In retail, we enabled Cologne-based Music Store to reach new markets and offer delivery choice and flexibility.  And in manufacturing, we helped leading 3D-printers Materialise gain visibility and control of their entire supply chain by integrating their software with UPS technology.

In fact, 66% of industrial buyers are now purchasing through distributor websites, according to our study of industrial purchasing dynamics.

(Source: UPS Industrial Purchasing Dynamics study.)

Ultimately, e-commerce is opening up new sales and marketing opportunities for just about any business – so long as they have the flexibility to capitalise.

How to build agility into your e-commerce strategy

Simple though the concept of agility may be, the means of creating an agile supply chain will be different for every business.

It’s important to partner with the right experts to assess your particular needs and objectives. Close collaboration with us will enable you to develop a successful strategy, agree on implementation procedures and continuously measure results, discuss changes and adapt accordingly.

With a responsive and efficient supply chain, you’ll benefit from improved speed to market — wherever that market is —and you’ll be able to offer a better customer experience.

That’s agility.


UPS solutions for e-commerce agility

We offer a variety of useful solutions that can be combined to offer all the e-commerce agility you need.

Our solutions to make you more agile include:

A global integrated transport network:

  • UPS Standard Our economical delivery service is continually made more efficient to speed-up how you connect to your customers across Europe.
  • UPS Access PointTM A network of over 14,000 drop-off and collection point locations across Europe to facilitate exceptional e-commerce programmes.
  • UPS Returns Makes people more likely to buy from you, knowing that if there’s a problem, it’s easy to send deliveries back.

Visibility and control technology:

  • UPS My Choice Alerts customers to incoming shipments and gives them control to reschedule the delivery time and location.
  • UPS Quantum View Allows you to manage outbound and inbound shipments with delivery notifications.

After-sales is vital to building relationships and growing your business. See how to develop a successful strategy.

Carrie Royle

Carrie Royle

Industry Marketing Manager, UPS

I am responsible for ensuring we offer our customers solutions that really make a difference for their business today and into the future. I'm passionate about staying on the pulse of global trade and the evolving opportunities for businesses of all sizes and sectors. Carrie Royle LinkedIn Profile


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