As consumers are turned away from “non-essential” services, more shoppers are relying on online services.
Under the Stage 1 restrictions released by the Australian federal government on Monday 23 March, the supply chain is to continue operating, including delivery and fulfilment services.
“As COVID-19 has spread, we’ve recently seen an increase in people shopping online,” Amazon said in a statement last week.
Leigh Williams, founder & managing director of eStore Logistics, Australia’s largest warehousing and order fulfilment provider told MHD that e-commerce activities, particularly for discretionary goods is remaining strong as consumers are moving to ordering goods online instead of visiting physical bricks and mortar stores.
“Our fulfilment centres have experienced a recent spike in sales volume for health and beauty products as well as alcohol, especially wine,” he said.
Leigh said eStore is experiencing strong e-commerce volumes which has meant that its needed to build on its workforce.
“The data within our WMS has been key to make rostering decisions, segregate staff and meet strong volumes,” he said.
“We’re already seeing many new eCommerce businesses pop up which are selling hot items, such as hygiene products, which are seeking our services.”
On Monday 23rd March, eStore announced it launched a new robotic warehouse picking technology, deployed for its eCommerce and retail store clients.
“It’s the largest implementation of it’s type in Australia,” Leigh said.
“The robotic system delivers improved service levels for faster fulfilment, later cut-offs for same day fulfilment and enables higher throughput during peak periods, all without an increase in order fulfilment costs.”
Leigh said it’s too early to tell what will happen with eCommerce spending on discretionary items however volumes are holding strong despite job losses and the economic decline we’re experiencing in Australia.