IRCE 2019: eCommerce Merchants Prioritizing Distribution Approach

Written by Nicola Malaney

The ReTrans Freight Team at IRCE 2019One of the largest eCommerce conferences doubled in size this year when IRCE joined forces with GlobalShop and RFID Journal Live! to form Retail X, which delivered eCommerce retailers and solutions providers alike the chance to network and access the latest industry insights over four days of educational sessions, exhibitions and, of course, after parties.

The ReTrans Freight team also increased our presence at the show after our rookie year in 2018 proved just how busy our booth would be. It makes a lot of sense if you think about it; after optimizing all of the other aspects of your eCommerce business, you’ll need a way to ship all of the product you’re moving, so why not learn about LTL shipping for eCommerce along with the next big thing in omnichannel strategy or SEO optimization? Here’s what we learned this year and what we’re looking forward to in 2020. 

While there was plenty of buzz about shipping at IRCE 2018, this year we felt a tangible shift in the way eCommerce merchants are prioritizing their distribution approach. Shippers voiced their concerns about their buyer’s experience as well as their own bottom line. It appears that sellers may have learned the hard way that developing a strategy around their LTL shipping needs is somewhat of a necessary evil. 

Shipping, and ultimately the final delivery, are crucial elements of the consumer’s buying journey and anything other than a smooth transaction simply won’t do anymore. There’s far too much competition out there to let cart abandonment or poor reviews steal sales. 

It wasn’t just established eCommerce shippers that we found ourselves engaging with. Retailers with traditional brick and mortar stores discussed their changing attitudes towards digitization and how they are learning that supplementing or even supplanting their existing business with an online store could be the only way they can scale. 

This is a far cry from the message we were hearing even just a year or two ago, so it’s become apparent that both B2B and B2C merchants are witnessing the environmental shift and looking to take action. The team at ReTrans Freight is equipped with the logistics tools to help. 

IRCE 2019 was a great opportunity for networking with shippers and also strategic partners. We hung out at ShipperHQ’s booth where we had the chance to chat with mutual client DGS Retail, which was neat. We also had the opportunity to put some faces to names with new partners nChannel and JetRails. As is usually the case at eCommerce conferences, everyone’s swag game was on point, so our team had fun picking up some souvenirs as well as delicious ice cream and of course, Chicago’s famous Garrett’s popcorn. While our bottle-opening carabiners were a hit, we’re definitely considering some sort of edible treat for next year’s show. Stay tuned!

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