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Recent Investments by Amazon and FreshDirect Highlight the Growing Importance of E-commerce Fulfillment Operations

In late July, FreshDirect announced that it would be partnering with Fabric Robotics to build a micro-fulfillment center (MFC) in Washington D.C., providing same-day delivery to area customers. The online-only grocer has traditionally only done next-day fulfillment, but is planning to expand same-day throughout the Northeast Corridor. This comes shortly after Amazon’s announcement that they have now converted 6 Whole Foods locations around the country into dark stores to support E-commerce fulfillment (via Retail Dive and Progressive Grocer). These are just 2 examples of retailers recognizing the shifting channel dynamics and making investments in dedicated E-commerce fulfillment centers to keep pace.

In a new whitepaper (free for download Here), we explore the growing importance of efficient E-commerce fulfillment in the grocery sector and discuss the pros and cons of the 4 most popular E-commerce fulfillment models. Highlights include:

  • We discuss the backdrop of the global coronavirus pandemic and how it has led to massive increases in at-home food consumption and in grocery E-commerce demand and penetration.
  • We discuss the 4 most popular fulfillment options that grocers are using when it comes to servicing their E-commerce customers: in-store picking, dark store models, micro-fulfillment centers, and centralized fulfillment centers.
  • We explore the current tradeoffs of each fulfillment model when it comes to picking and labor efficiency, the order volume one facility can service, the SKU selection supported, last-mile delivery efficiency and cost, and CapEx requirements.
  • We explore the latest profitability estimates for each fulfillment model, how to choose the best model for your business, and the growing number of tech advancements that will continue to revolutionize E-commerce fulfillment.

To download this free whitepaper, follow this link.

Emerson Delgado

Emerson Delgado

edelgado@mdretail.com

Emerson provides day-to-day support for McMillanDoolittle projects across the board, from strategic planning and digital transformation to consumer insights and experience design. He draws on direct experience in the Home and Home Improvement industries as well as in consumer and market research.

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