The retail industry is still the largest private sector in the U.S. That’s why more opportunities are opening in the world of retail, including distribution.

Retail distribution is becoming more complex — especially with our reliance on online shopping, customers can shop using multiple channels and there are more standards in terms of shipping speed and quality.

Because of this, brands should know the future predictions for retail distribution. While a more flexible supply chain and enhanced technology are on the horizon, there are other retail distribution best practices that e-commerce and commerce store owners should know.

Here’s the future of retail distribution.

More Reliance on Warehouse Execution Systems

More retail brands will be using a warehouse management system (WMS). A WMS controls the storage and movement of inventory in storage.

However, it’s predicted shop owners will switch to warehouse execution systems (WES) in the future. A WES manages materials handling and inventory records in a facility.

The WES solves many problems that a WMS couldn’t target; for example, a WES operates on a single control system, combining all processes into one easy place. You can prioritize specific tasks, improving your productivity.

The Next Generation of Distributed Order Management (DOM)

Customers demand that retail stores meet their expectations. This can include next-day or even same-day delivery. How can brands keep up with these demands? This is where a DOM comes in. DOMs manage multi-channel and omnichannel operations, processing your orders from various systems.

A DOM replaces many of the functions of the point of sale (POS) platform. That’s because the POS had limitations when supporting an order’s lifecycle, whereas a DOM can manage the entire lifecycle.

DOMs are also under constant innovation. For example, DOMs are finding more ways to cater to drop shippers, tracking the movement of inventory, and handling inventory rebalancing.

The Adoption of Autonomous Robots

Does the implementation of robots seem too far in the future? We’re currently living in this reality.

Robots will be able to assist in many monotonous tasks, such as sortation and conveyor systems. But robots are also being programmed for smarter tasks. Automated vehicles will make the warehouse safer and automated storage will enhance efficiency.

Because of the increase in productivity, more businesses will be investing in these robots and technologies.

Blockchain Technology for the Consumer

Blockchain doesn’t only comprise of Bitcoin and other forms of cryptocurrency. The blockchain safeguards a variety of different products and goods, such as grocery products.

Blockchain technology will inform the consumer of where the product has been in its entire lifecycle. The consumer can easily view this information in a secure format, ensuring they make smart buying decisions.

What does this mean for brands? It’s recommended brands start testing out blockchain technology as soon as possible. In the next few years, this technology is expected to be adopted by some of the biggest brands.

The Future of Retail Distribution: Seek Out the Right Warehouse

When it comes to the future of retail distribution, smart warehousing solutions are at the top of the list. Before you can implement your new retail distribution strategy, you need to select the right warehouse. Click here to find warehouse space.

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