eCommerce event review: Internet Retailing Jump Start on Supply Chain

This Wednesday morning started with a trip up Tower 42 in London to Floor 24. 

Ian Jindal hosted the event and set the scene for eCommerce supply chain, "In an age of developing ruthless capabilities, stuff just happens reliably and no one cares how difficult it is."

No pressure...

1. GS1 - The Global Authority on barcodes

If you sell online and more specifically on marketplaces, GS1 matter because they issue barcodes that link to the database Amazon and eBay use to identify your products. An EAN-13 barcode relates to a GTIN (Global trade item number) and enables your products to be recognised and more importantly differentiated.

One of my Clients has recently got GS1 barcodes for the kits he makes so he can own the Amazon listing and prevent inferior products listing as comparable options. As a result of tactics like this, 31% of new members to GS1 are selling on Amazon.

An example of this GTIN database hit me when shopping on Ocado, where My Supermarket offered to upload my Tesco shopping lists. These stock systems are relying on GS1 information to do price matching and order matching.

2. Eshopworld:

eShopworld are international eCommerce consultants. My top 3 points from their presentation:


Tax and duty: delivery tax surprises are a horrendous experience. I can agree with this having recently been stung by a parcel from overseas.


Payment methods for cross border, consider local payment methods. I discussed these challenges in more detail at a recent ChannelAdvisor event on cross-border trade:

Enterprise eCommerce clinic review by Peoplevox


Global logistics: 

+ speed of refund critical

+ cross border returns need to be addressed

+ duty drawback on returns is a potential trip wire

3.  MetaPack

Most people are familiar with MetaPack's offering to eCommerce. Their latest technology has seen them move into the web front-end, displaying shopping cart options to match a customer's requirements. 

If you don't, take a look at this:

4. I-Parcel

I-Parcel have spent the last 3 years opening up the rest of the world to retailers in the US. Their network has enabled companies that have previously not looked past the states to ship internationally, cost-effectively and reliably. They count Amazon as a Client and I would say potential suitor.

  • Take risk on foreign transactions
  • Own delivery network
  • They can remove fraud risk
  • Remove duty surprises
  • Instantly convert website to new currencies
  • Retailer still owns the customer data
  • Two lines of JavaScript to convert prices and change language
  • Print returns labels
  • Can you inspect the code? Yes.
  • Metapack, friend or foe? Friend.

5. Knight frank

I thought I would never 'talk shed' in the office on a Thursday morning, but I did today.

Knight Frank talked eCommerce warehouse procurement and shared an inside track into the market and in doing so they showcased their track record of advising eCommerce.

They have seen retailers reacting to the eCommerce fulfilment challenge by making a structural change for eCommerce growth, they are getting sheds specifically for efulfilment.

  • There haven't been any new 100,000 sq ft warehouses being built since 2008.
  • ASOS kept their commitment in Hemel Hempstead short to account for growth.
  • Asos removing cross docks that were built on Barnsley warehouse. Cross dock doors not needed for their eCommerce operation.
  • No speculative new builds since 2008.
  • £20 million new build surplus in 2008.

You can view their industrial warehouse case studies by clicking here.

ASOS eCommerce warehouse
ASOS eCommerce warehouse

ASOS's 500,000 sq ft warehouse in Barnsley, procured by Knight Frank.

6. Peoplevox

We will be uploading the video and presentation from Jonathan's presentation on 'The Top 10 Tips for the Ultimate eCommerce warehouse' to the website within the next two weeks.

Jonathan Bellwood Peoplevox
Jonathan Bellwood Peoplevox

Thank You

Thanks to Ian Jindal for hosting and the Internet Retailing team for executing a professional event with supply chain and eCommerce content worth taking time out for.

Oliver Rhodes
Oliver Rhodes

Author: Oliver Rhodes