Five significant innovations will influence the retail logistics industry by 2020 according to global real estate advisor CBRE. With e-commerce expected to comprise 20% of all retail sales in the next three years, predictive ordering, 3D printing, personal outsourcing, ‘your home as a store retail’ and cherry picking will be the most critical innovations for the industry to embrace in order to meet accelerating consumer demand.
CBRE’s Retail Logistics viewpoint highlights that 12.8bn consumer devices will be able to connect to the Internet of things by 2020. The data will enable household appliances to learn habits of homeowners and place predictive orders. This technology will take away the pressure brought by next day or same day delivery demands for a huge amount of household products. As a result, logistics providers will be able to plan more efficiently and won’t need to focus as much on being as close to the consumer as possible. This will alleviate the costs usually undertaken by purchasing assets in ‘the last mile’.
CBRE also predicts an increase in the ability of 3D printing and a reduction in cost will result in household penetration of around 25% in the next decade, making it another key innovation for the retail logistics sector. It will result in an increase in the distribution of
raw materials but could mean a significant reduction in the number of overall deliveries to consumers. As the number of deliveries reduces, the role and form of the logistics companies will need to continually evolve.