Mobile Technology Helps Retailers Optimize Direct Store Delivery

New Panasonic white paper shows how physical retailers can use mobile technologies to gain an advantage in a competitive marketplace.

The Growing Demand For Direct Store Delivery

Changing customer demands, competitive pressures from online-only rivals and the need to provide buyers with an omnichannel experience are all pushing brick-and-mortar retailers to reimagine their business models.

With total e-commerce sales in the U.S. growing from $453 billion in 2017 to $601 billion last year, they now make up 16% of total retail sales (up from 13.2% in 2017), according to DigitalCommerce360. That means that 84% of total retail sales take place in physical stores and through catalog/call center merchants, which collectively grew at a pace of 3.8% in 2019.

To maintain this stronghold and keep online-only retailers at bay, more retailers are implementing technology tools, devices, and applications that help them work through key last mile delivery challenges and innovate in new ways.

Mobile Technology’s Impact on Last-Mile Logistics

One of those innovations is direct store delivery (DSD), or the delivery of a product from a distributor directly to a retail store, thus bypassing the latter’s own distribution center. In most cases, DSD involves high-demand/quick-turn merchandise that doesn’t languish on the retail shelf.

Using DSD, retailers can effectively reduce out-of-stocks; ensure freshness and food safety compliance; slash inventory costs and shrinkage (via scan-based tracking); reduce billing cycles and improve cashflow; and establish a new level and form of collaboration with supply chain partners.

Achieving these DSD-related goals requires good visibility across the end-to-end supply chain and last mile. This is not attainable with manual systems and disparate solutions. But rugged mobile solutions and highly-reliable wireless networks are helping companies leverage systems that collect and track near-real-time inventory data.

This gives business decision-makers, delivery personnel, and retail employees visibility into where products are in the supply chain and at any given time. Leveraging mobility solutions to capture and share data in real-time also helps companies reprice and restock faster; automate payments to suppliers; and quickly identify shrinkage issues.

With TOUGHBOOK® laptops, tablets, and handhelds; connectivity and deployment services; ISV applications that integrate with existing retail business systems; and support for Microsoft Windows® or Android™, Panasonic provides a full spectrum of solutions that retailers can use to develop and run their DSD models.

Click here to read the Panasonic white paper.