par Aude Chardenon17 June 20210 commentaires

Product data, a tool for e-commerce and environmental performance

Often perceived as being harmful to the environment, e-commerce is actually based on processes that can be extremely virtuous. Product data management solutions are one of the tools available to retailers that can be used to optimize the supply chain, from the moment products are stored in the warehouse, all the way to the end customer's home.

We often point the finger at e-commerce for its environmental impact. The frantic pace of deliveries, the high rate of returns in certain industries that are already considered to be highly polluting, such as textiles, the increase in parcel packaging and bags, which are sometimes oversized compared to the products ordered… However, in many respects, e-commerce has started going green.

From the electric militants (Amazon, etc.) to the packaging machines doped with artificial intelligence (Cdiscount, etc.) without forgetting energy production through data centres (GreenYellow, another subsidiary of the Casino group), the green revolution has truly arrived. And the results sweep away several preconceived ideas: E-commerce generates 4 to 9 times less road traffic than physical commerce, according to a report recently published by Oliver Wyman.

At what point is product data useful to help the consumer to consume the product in an optimised way? From the warehouse! First, it increases the preparation capacity for orders placed online. Accurate product data means time saved on order preparation and is therefore a key performance indicator. Take for example the measurement data from SKUs (stock-keeping units), which are useful for optimising space. It is also an essential component for the whole value chain: Precise data on the size of the item can also be used to optimise how the bags are filled when the orders are prepared… and how the trucks are filled during the delivery rounds. 

There are several advantages: in addition to reducing costs of logistics – these costs are high in e-commerce, and all specialised players are faced with the challenge of profitability, and therefore performance – this consideration of high-performance product data can also be transformed into a tool with an impact on CSR. This is also a very important issue for the consumer goods industry, which wants to adjust its environmental impact to the growing concerns of consumers.

More data, more direct impacts: The “guaranteed shelf life of the products” is indicated for the product, which allows the consumer to receive fresh products with all the time they need to consume them! No more 12-packs of yoghurts delivered with their BBE the next day! 

This indication, which makes it possible to select the products in the warehouse, has two main consequences: On the one hand it increases consumer satisfaction (and loyalty), and on the other hand it limits food waste since the customer does not have to throw their product in the bin because the shelf life was too short… A real revolution.

How does product data impact the warehouse? How can we bring together performance and environmental impact? 

To learn more, watch the replay of our conference co-hosted with Groupe Casino : Ecommerce: How does qualitative product data pave the way to performance & sustainability?