Eye on Retail: Nearly half of online orders to be delivered within two hours by 2028
Retailers are rethinking — and speeding up — their logistics operations to create a faster purchasing journey for customers.
To satisfy online consumers that want a faster purchasing experience, 78% of logistics companies expect to provide same-day delivery by 2023. Meanwhile, 40% anticipate two-hour delivery windows by 2028, according to the “Future of Fulfillment Vision study,” from Zebra Technologies.
To better meet the growing expectations of the on-demand economy, 76% of retailers use store inventory to fill online orders, and 86% of companies plan to implement buy online/pick up in store in the next year. Retailers are also investing in retrofitting stores to double as online fulfillment centers, and shrinking selling space to accommodate e-commerce pickups and returns.
In addition, 87% of retailers expect to use crowdsourced delivery, or a network of drivers that can get orders to customers faster, by 2028.
Next-gen supply chains will reflect connected, business-intelligence and automated solutions that will add newfound speed, precision and cost effectiveness to transportation and labor. The most disruptive technologies will be drones (39%), driverless/autonomous vehicles (38%), wearable and mobile technology (37%) and robotics (37%).
In other key findings:
- Supply chains will also become less error-prone, as 49% of companies will add more radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology, tagging solutions and inventory management platforms in the next few years. The technology heightens inventory accuracy and shopper satisfaction while reducing out of stocks, overstocks and replenishment errors.
- While 72% of organizations currently utilize barcodes, 55 are still using inefficient, manual pen-and-paper based processes to enable omnichannel logistics. By 2021, handheld mobile computers with barcode scanners will be used by 94% of respondents for omnichannel logistics.
- Accepting and managing returns also remains a challenge for 87% of respondents, especially as the increase in free and fast product delivery corresponds with an increase in returned merchandise. Seven in 10 surveyed executives agree that more retailers will turn stores into fulfillment centers that accommodate product returns.
- More than 60% of retailers that currently do not offer free shipping, free returns or same-day delivery plan to do so, while 44% expect to outsource returns management to a third party.
More color options at Top Knobs
In a move the company says is in line with most modern kitchen trends, Hillsborough, N.J.-based Top Knobs expanded its Honey Bronze and Ash Gray finishes to 17 cabinet hardware series in five collections. The finishes are now available in 113 cabinet pulls, knobs, latches, back plates and appliance pulls for completely cohesive room designs.
“Honey Bronze and Ash Gray were introduced alongside the Devon Collection in 2017, and the feedback has been astonishing,” says Christine Zimmer, Top Knobs product manager. “The expansion of the finishes allows for designers and homeowners to further utilize two of the biggest trends in interior design with their favorite decorative hardware collections.”
Honey Bronze puts a chic twist on classic bronze and brass finishes with a softer, light golden tone. The shade adds a feeling of old-world charm to kitchen and bath designs, the company says. An alternative to traditional gray finishes, Ash Gray brings a warm feeling to designs with its low-reflecting shine. The pitch: the versatile color works well with any color scheme and acts as an anchor to bring all parts of the room together.
New DesignRail and CableRail Conceal kits from Feeney
Feeney, the stainless steel and aluminum railings manufacturer, has debuted DesignRail aluminum railing kits and the CableRail Conceal kit.
The new DesignRail railing kits offer a fast and easy way to install exterior or interior aluminum railings with Feeney CableRail. Engineered using components that snap and screw together for ease of installation, the kits feature high quality 6000 series aluminum extrusions with AAMA-2604 powder coated finishes for a durable, long lasting finish. In addition, all post kits are pre-drilled to make cable installation simple.
“This new addition to the Feeney line is a great solution for customers who want to be able to walk into a retail location and get everything they need to install aluminum railings with CableRail using a convenient packaged system,” said Andy Penny, VP of sales and marketing for Feeney. “The kits are making it even easier to build a railing with cable infill, and we’re excited to introduce this latest innovation.”
Available in 36-inch and 42-inch level railings, and 36-inch stair railings, the kits are designed to be installed in three simple steps: install posts, assemble and attach the top and bottom rail kits, and install CableRail cables. Feeney also offers accessories to supplement the kits, including base plate covers, isolation pads and bushings for harsher environments, and touch-up paint.
The kits contain all materials required for installation (posts, rails, CableRail and accessories) and are stocked at Feeney authorized dealers. They come standard in a black matte finish, with other colors available through special order.
The CableRail Conceal kit was developed to provide a solution for customers seeking a more streamlined cable railing aesthetic. The end caps on the outside of the railing posts are thinner, and the fittings are shorter in length so they can be completely concealed inside the post for a sleeker look.
“The Conceal kit offers a fresh new twist on our popular CableRail system, while providing an additional option for DesignRail and wood railing projects,” Penny said. “This new offering will give our customers even more flexibility when selecting the CableRail kit best suited for their specific application.”
The CableRail Conceal kit also features a specially-designed tension fitting on one end and an automatic-locking Feeney Quick-Connect fitting on the other end. The kit is available in pre-fabricated assembly lengths ranging from 5 feet to 50 feet, in 5-foot increments that can be trimmed to exact length in the field. Product accessories, including isolation bushings for harsher environments and decorative stainless or colored end caps, are also available and sold separately.
Based in Oakland, Calif., Feeney specializes in residential and commercial construction products for exterior or interior applications include CableRail stainless steel cable assemblies, Quick-Connect auto-locking cable fittings, and DesignRail aluminum railing systems among other offerings.