The Coronavirus has directly impacted our broader communities and day-to-day life. Social distancing, staggered schedules, and strict stay-at-home orders will transform both employee and customer behavior in ways no one would have anticipated just a few months ago. 

As states and companies prepare to open back up, the retail landscape will undoubtedly be different. Many retailers are currently developing plans for this “new normal”. These changes will require the rapid transformation of existing supply chains. 

How Retail Companies are Adapting

While there are talks of new, creative solutions to allow for low-contact retail shopping such as VR experiences at home, pop-up shops, and mall kiosks, at Transfix, we have already seen two definitive trends that retailers should start preparing for now. 

  1. Increasing E-commerce Efforts
  2. Enabling Curbside Pickups & Buy Online, Pick-up in Store (BOPIS)

These new trends require both labor and inventory to be reshuffled to maximize efficiency. Transfix has already started to partner with retail shippers to help them through this transition, and can help you as well. 

How to Transition to E-commerce and Curbside Pickup with Transfix 

According to the Retail Industry Leaders Association, retailers need to quickly scale up new supply chains to meet the demand of online shopping and curbside pick-up.

In order to capitalize on this growing e-commerce trend, retailers will need to:

  1. Move inventory quickly to warehouses and distribution centers that are set up for parcel shipping
  2. Account and plan for new supply chain mechanics and costs 

Major supply chain shifts like this often take months to plan out. However, given time is of the essence due to the rapid onset of COVID-19, Transfix can help you make this shift in weeks in the following ways:

1. Quickly move inventory with Transfix’s flexible capacity 

With thousands of vetted carriers, equipped to haul both live and drop loads, Transfix can quickly find dedicated capacity for short-term projects. Our reliable carriers can take on special initiatives such as transferring excessive inventory between warehouses during shutdowns or helping you to restock when stores begin to open. You can read about how we helped a large retailer with an urgent project here

2. Avoid long negotiation processes and rapidly onboard onto Transfix’s platform

Retailers don’t need to go through a long, cumbersome process to get access to carriers. For complex or time-sensitive projects, Transfix’s dedicated account management team can work with retailers to take over the search process of finding dedicated carriers, developing a plan, and can start moving 100% of freight in less than 1 week as a single source provider, just as we did for a large retailer here.

3. Plan and forecast costs with reliable benchmarking and pricing

Transfix’s TrueRate pricing algorithm — which incorporates massive amounts of proprietary historical data, external industry benchmarks, unique lane factors, as well as input from industry experts and real-time carrier inputs — can help retailers forecast future costs. As retailers begin to rethink their supply chain and the costs associated with it, Transfix’s TrueRate pricing algorithm can provide guidance on costs for adding new lanes and help retailers decide which geographic areas for new facilities are the most cost effective.

With greater insight into long-term costs, shippers can feel more confident in making location and other supply-chain related decisions that will have a multi-year impact on their operations and bottom-line.

As a digital freight broker, Transfix connects with thousands of shippers across the country, and we are able to see how retailers are quickly adapting in this time. However, more importantly, we’re able to partner with them to provide the resources and services they need to quickly adapt and pivot their businesses to successfully weather the current crisis. 

If you’re a retailer in the process of making a transition to e-commerce and curbside pick-up, contact us to see how Transfix can support your supply chain needs.

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