Pandemic Pressure on Shipping and Retail: Increased Synergy

Online shopping isn’t new. Online retailing has been a part of consumers’ lives for decades. A global pandemic has forced mandatory ecommerce. It’s safe for both retailers and consumers to say that this is a new phase. E-retailers that have a strong online presence can create a new client base and retain those customers who are already shopping on their sites.

Retailers need to ensure that they have an online platform and stock of products that is current and up-to-date. But they also need to align their key stakeholders with their brand promise. Shipping is a key business partner.

Shipping operations must be flawless

The shipping industry is experiencing an explosion in its operations. This means that almost all industries have requirements for their shipping companies. Have you met with your shipping company to see if they are able to deliver your products on time? What can they do to ensure that your products are delivered on time?

DK EquipmentDK Hardware, one of the most prominent online retailers for hardware manufacturers across the United States and Canada since 2008, is still in business. Art Goldman, chief financial officer at DK Hardware states, “From our beginnings we rely on great logistics for deliveries. Shipping is an integral part of the online shopping experience. With shifting consumer behavior online, it is important that we set shipping times. If a product arrives late the consumer will blame the online retailer.

The history of online shopping and shipping is rich in synergy. Do you recognize Jeff Bezos’ vision of a private airline that would carry Amazon products? Online retailers find it difficult to control all aspects of the purchase process. They cannot do this alone and must rely on third-party delivery companies.

Today’s Major Challenges

Logistics in generalCompanies with a larger logistics footprint face major challenges. They used to be able to deliver cheaper products (for example, sourcing goods from China or Vietnam), but the reality is that they are now unable to do so. International freight is very expensive, and lead times are increasing. It is therefore difficult and expensive to get products into a warehouse.

DK Hardware is an example of this. The company sources the majority of its products from the U.S., which is a significant benefit in getting products in stock and to the customer faster.

Shipments: Timing issues. FedEx and UPS cannot guarantee shipping times. All negative customer experiences are on the retailer, as they can change delivery dates all the time. It’s clear that major carriers are dealing directly with COVID-19 issues.


The customer’s inability to be patientClients have generally been supportive of the situation, particularly in March and April. Beginning May, customers’ expectations have changed and their behavior has returned to pre-COVID-19.

“Shipping needs to be closer than ever. This is a great opportunity for both the shipping and retail industries. The success of both depends on understanding that they share the same goals. Partnerships share the same reputation. When a product arrives in a timely manner and is in good condition, both industries benefit and can establish a long-term relationship with potential customers. In today’s uncertain times, synergies can be crucial in today’s online economy.

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