In 2020, the shift to digital happened so fast the industry still has whiplash. While all of this innovation is great for consumers, it hasn’t been without its challenges, including supply chain bottlenecks and distribution disruption which has caused many a retailer some serious headaches.  

This week at NRF 2021: Retail’s Big Show optimizing the supply chain was a hot topic and with good reason—retail is in a transformative moment fueled by a sudden and dramatic shift to all things digital. Consumer purchasing behavior has been forever changed by the impact of this global pandemic.  

While we agree with BizTech’s reporting that artificial intelligence and data analytics technologies have a future in retail, we also believe drop shipping is essential to optimize the supply chain in a digital economy. Drop ship allows retailers to stay focused on customer experience by offering the right product assortment at the right time, making it easy for consumers to find and purchase items and then getting these orders fulfilled and delivered with swift efficiency 

In essence, a digital supply chain helps retailers to meet consumers where they are. To do this successfully, retailers have to pivot fast to offer products in categories that are in demand and, more importantly, have the supply to meet that demand. There’s no optimal way to do this with a dependence on physical inventory. This is where virtual inventory powered by drop ship plays an integral role and we’ve seen the difference it can make for retailers as they adapt to meet today’s evolving customer expectations.  

The digital supply chain, which brings together retailers, suppliers, marketplaces and logistics providers in one centralized placecan meet and exceed consumer expectations with minimal capital investment. It enables retailers and brands to cost-effectively tap into distributed inventory across global suppliers to eliminate supply chain bottlenecks and deliver to consumers more efficiently. Thousands of retailers, brands and suppliers already benefit from Rithum‘s agile, digital supply chain to keep ecommerce runninga majority of the 15,000 brands and suppliers on Rithum’s network remained operational, processing and fulfilling online orders during this period. 

Our network delivers diverse supply chain that is helping our retail partners to keep selling while mitigating distribution and fulfillment risk. This is all powered by our secure and scalable platform that has proved essential for retailers as their need to adapt has accelerated. 

There’s no question that digital transformation is the way forward for retailers. It’s a matter of how quickly they can add the ecommerce capabilities that will enable them to not only meet consumers’ needs for convenience, but also safety, and offer the product assortment that will continue to drive profitability and increase brand loyalty and retention. Drop ship gives retailers access to an expanded product assortment, control over their brand experience, visibility into performance and inventory and unmatched agility to strengthen their supply chain.   

We believe that retailers who can tap into the power of the digital supply chain and leverage both ecommerce and physical retail to meet the needs and demands of consumers are well-positioned to achieve continued success.  

Rithum can help you optimize your digital supply chain. Contact us to learn more.