Are You Ready For the Holiday Season: Retail Supply Chain Resilience and Sustainability with the Supply Chain Queen and IBM at Gartner CSCO Symposium

Today marks the unofficial holiday season for many. From BOPIS & commerce everywhere, to deep personalization, retail embarks on a journey this year unlike any other. One thing we know is people really, really do not like taxes. Shipping sounds like a tax. When you have free shipping, the “pain tax” disappears, and returns and wastes increase. What happens after the sale? Fulfillment, orchestration, experience, loyalty, returns management, but what else should be front of mind as we enter the holiday season? In the video below, I join IBM Sterling Supply Chain leaders Jonathan Wright and Matt McGovern at Gartner Symposium for CSCOs to share a PoV on retail supply chain resilience, technology trends shaping demand orchestration, and defining stewardship in sustainability during COVID and beyond.

RETURNS!?! We know online purchases lead to return rates from 15 to 40% - 2 to 5X in store purchases. And holiday purchases historically have higher return rates. ✅ If a consumer knew the impact of 1 return, would it change their decision? How do you ensure a resilient supply chain for an unprecedented season in retail that's sustainable and profitable? What should supply chain leaders be thinking about to minimize returns and their impact? Let's talk about it! People don’t understand how much it costs to order online and return an item. Low hanging fruit can be incentivizing returns at thru a curbside or convenient mechanism (offering a refund/store credit being issued immediately), and also avoiding the hassle of using a 3rd party to ship the return. I think about the sheer volume of packaging in online purchases. An opportunity exists in communicating the carbon footprint and environmental impacts in not only delivering the item to the customer, but the “cost” of a return.

I encourage CSCOs to communicate stewardship. Check out this clip from #GartnerSC moments ago with Jonathan Wright and IBM Sterling Supply Chain and thanks for inviting me to share a PoV.

About The Author

Sheri R. Hinish
Sheri R. Hinish
SupplyChainQueen ® | Executive Advisor and Change Leader | EY Principal and Senior Leader | Passionate about Supply Chain, Sustainability, Innovation, and Inclusion|

To read more about Sheri R. Hinish, check out her full bio here.