The success of e-commerce is unstoppable. Customers have discovered the benefits of online buying as an attractive channel next to brick and mortar shopping. This trend of omni-channel sales is not just visible in business-to-consumer markets, but also in business-to- business and consumer-to-consumer channels.
And a new heavy storm is currently hitting the dynamic e-commerce markets. Sellers and buyers were traditionally bound to their home markets with local supply for local demand. These days the front runners in online retailing and online wholesaling are going abroad, entering into new countries and even crossing continents.
E-commerce first and internationalization next require dynamic supply chain orchestration of the flows across the parties in the network of different supply chains for flexible e-fulfillment. See below how the American Amazon and eBay succeed in the international e-commerce environment. The question is; are you ready for this new international Supply Chain Orchestration? Download the MPO presentation on international e-commerce.
Amazon: the American giant
Amazon is one of the American players executing a strong internationalization strategy. The e-commerce giant claims to sell 10 million products in 65 countries around the world. In the US, Amazon operates more than 50 fulfillment centers for inventory picking, packing, sorting and shipping, employing over 100.000 employees during the peak season. For the European market, Amazon is operating 8 warehouses in the UK and another 15 warehouses on the European mainland, amongst others in France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Poland. International shipping is supported via the Amazon Global Program, enabling sellers to reach international markets with integral supply chain services spanning warehousing, transportation and customs clearance. Through the engineering of its fulfillment centers, Amazon is building a global logistics infrastructure for the transfer of things, much in the way data centers have become the foundation of doing business in the cloud.
eBay: the American rival
Slightly different but definitely an American giant, is the e-commerce company eBay providing consumer-to-consumer and business-to-consumer sales services via internet. eBay offers sellers the so-called Ship-from-Store solution, which enables retailers to turn their physical retail locations into stock points for virtual distribution centers. The eBay approach is different from its rival Amazon, who wants merchants to upload their inventory onto its marketplace and, ideally, send inventory to its distribution centers as well. Selling and shipping internationally makes business substantially more complex. Therefore, eBay runs a Global Shipping Program for sellers on the US site allowing sellers to ship domestically but ultimately deliver items to international buyers making international expansion and cross-border trade much easier to implement. For companies without international experience, the Global Shipping Program is a facility to expand business and bring in new customers without substantial investments.
Supply Chain Orchestration
E-commerce first and Internationalization next require new and dynamic orchestration of the flows across the parties in the network of different supply chains for flexible e-fulfillment, including web shop integration, service level differentiation, supply chain segmentation, dynamic order planning, warehouse-transport integration, multi-modal distribution, import export customs, supplier direct delivery, proactive event management and supply chain visibility.
Is your company ready for these new requirements of Supply Chain Orchestration? Download the MPO presentation on a business case for international e-Commerce.