E-Commerce and the Evolution of Fulfillment

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2Q 2020 | IN-5843


Micro-Fulfillment and Dark Stores


Big-box retailers are leveraging their stores to fulfill online orders closer to their consumers. These "micro-fulfillment centers" are located in the rear of established stores, with the sole purpose of delivery fulfillment and pickups. In addition to those open for in-person shopping, there are increasing numbers of “dark stores” either transformed or designed to strictly fulfill delivery and sometimes pickup. As online orders rise, from grocery items to home improvement and household goods, these options address the need to reduce delivery windows and increase flexibility in urban and suburban areas. Automation efforts are also rising, from robotic picking and autonomous carts to fully driverless delivery pods.

Consumer Habits and Retail Solutions Are Developing


COVID-19 has altered many long-standing consumer shopping habits, especially for groceries. According to Fabric, U.S. online grocery sales were approximately 5% in early 2020, and now are expected to rise this year to 10-12%, which was origina…

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