Everyone in the business of retail knew that e-commerce growth would continue in 2020, and that they would have to adopt their systems and equipment to support new requirements for order fulfillment. But many didn’t anticipate the pandemic accelerating those plans, and driving innovation two years ahead of schedule. While many companies have embarked on upgrading their fulfillment engines to handle peak seasons, it’s been exciting to watch normalized demand leveling out, in what has traditionally been a steep ramp-up for the year-end holidays.
Retail growth in general surpassed all expectations in 2020, with the pandemic choosing winners and losers. Consumers funneled disposable income into groceries, home furnishings and electronics as they adapted to working remotely. Much of that growth manifested itself through e-commerce, which meant that if you weren’t Apple, Walmart, Target or Amazon, you relied on brute-force order fulfillment