Supply chain technology for e-commerce businesses in 2021

supply chain

When the coronavirus pandemic struck, it changed the ways we do business essentially overnight. Supply chains received the brunt of the impact, having to adapt to shifting consumer behaviors and unpredictable demand. 

Fortunately, new tech in the supply chain sector is great news for the e-commerce businesses sustaining a socially distanced economy. From deep learning to intelligent management software, tech will be the defining force of thriving e-commerce in the modern world.

Here are the technologies you should know about.

Supply chain tech for the modern world

With supply chains needing to adapt to rapidly changing demand alongside pandemic procedures, technology is the saving grace of any modern business. Innovative technology is most valuable for the e-commerce companies experiencing surges in sales, up 30.1 percent across the industry from last year, with more consumers shopping from home than ever.

But in the deluge of possibilities from Software as a Service (SaaS) and data cloud hosting services, what trending tech has the most potential to help companies thrive and innovate their supply chains?

With 80 percent of consumers more likely to make purchases from brands that offer personalized experiences, personalization will be the key to e-commerce success in 2021 and beyond. This goes for supply chain management as well, where personalization and a consolidated user experience can make all the difference.

The following are powerful tech considerations that make personalization and flexibility possible in supply chain management for e-commerce business:

1. Deep learning

Any transaction on the web can be enhanced through the power of smart systems to gather, collect, and analyze data. Artificial intelligence is making progress on this front all the time. Deep learning, as a subset of AI, now has the potential to streamline every aspect of e-commerce, supply chains included.

Deep learning is a self-managing process within a computer system that allows the software to learn and improve itself without being explicitly programmed to do so. In supply chain management, this process means quantitative and predictive analytics that can make a significant difference in your costs and efficiency.

Through data-driven applications like deep learning, companies are reducing machine downtime by as much as 50 percent. This means supply chains can function at unprecedented levels, running on AI that works more and more like a superpowered human brain

2. Cybersecurity tools

When the coronavirus struck, a sharp uptick in cyberattacks followed. Businesses of all kinds are more at risk than ever in this digitally insecure environment. Supply chain software is particularly vulnerable and can be dangerous and costly when attacked

Fortunately, cybersecurity tools are also improving. Zero-trust network access technology (ZTNA), for example, is gaining ground as a dominant method of protecting networks. This system assumes the environment is always hostile and in doing so deploys dynamic segmentation gateways and firewalls. 

The result is enhanced security for e-commerce companies and the supply chains that make them possible.

3. Blockchain

Blockchain data storage is a kind of innovative solution needed for safe transactions on the web. Such a system operates through individual data nodes secured in a cryptographic chain, adding security and immutability to a decentralized method of data management.

For supply chains and e-commerce businesses, it means smart contracts, up-to-date communications, streamlined inventory management, and much more—all with added security. 

However, blockchain adoption does not come without its own set of challenges. Right now, storage size through blockchain is limited, as is the number of companies successfully developing these products.

4. Cryptocurrencies

Operating on blockchain technology to great success, however, are the many cryptocurrencies now common as online payment methods. Crypto can be a great way to smooth supply chain efficiency for e-commerce businesses, both as a system of asset management and consumer relations. 

For the international trade common in e-commerce, little is as convenient as using cryptocurrencies. The decentralized nature of these systems along with non-traditional regulations mean products can be bought and sold with ease from around the world. 

For consumers, this means not having to jump through hoops with traditional financial institutions, issues especially common with high-risk merchandise like kratom. In these industries, crypto makes for seamless transactions without any middleman fees. 

5. System Management Software

Modern businesses believe they can cut their inventory by as much as 20 percent with a better understanding of their supply chain overall. The right technology gives companies this understanding, offering invaluable insight and control over every aspect of your system. 

Robust supply chain management (SCM) software streamlines the way you conduct business. By using a dedicated inventory control solution, streamlined product tracking, and data communication across businesses, SCM assembles all the information you need to make better supply chain decisions. 

Like many other data-driven processes, SCM is the future of e-commerce. In 2021 and beyond, we will likely see the continued development and consolidation of this tech. 

Bottom line

There are a wide variety of technologies on the market now that offer the power of data and automation. From deep learning to comprehensive supply chain management software, your e-commerce business can apply new tools to achieve greater results. The first step is understanding what’s trending and what it can do for you.

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