This pilot will investigate the role of big data in transforming the current e-commerce logistics practices for bringing value to all the involved stakeholders i.e. 3PLs, online retailers and final consumers. More specifically, we will investigate how the big data exploitation can enable collaborative practices that will enhance efficiency of the distribution process in e-commerce. We will also try to provide alternative shipping methods to the consumer in order to respond to this growing e-commerce consumers' demand. By taking into account the immature collaboration culture and the under exploitation of big data in the e-commerce logistics industry, we will also investigate how advanced business analytics techniques that exploit the various types of data can transform and enhance the existing e-commerce logistics processes. Due to the continuously changing e-commerce environment and the limited adoption of big data solutions at the e-commerce logistics, we initially utilize a user requirements elicitation approach that involves the pilot user, as well as representatives of the broader industry in our pilot. The aim is to capture the broader sector’s requirements and, then, to further elaborate on them in the context of our 3PL user.
Thus, we formulate a broader set of requirements and respective scenarios that will be tested in order to examine their applicability and quantify their potential impact in the first stage of the pilot exec ution. By employing the iterative approach adopted in the overall project, we will refine the scenarios at each stage by taking into account their pilot results. Our ambition is to provide generic guidelines about the role of big data in ecommerce logistics and provide a roadmap for applying big data solutions with the purpose to tackle specific requirements in the e-commerce logistics. In comparison with the other pilot, the e-commerce pilot will not have a replication pilot. Due to the more complex horizontal data integration necessary for the e-Commerce pilot, we refrained from pushing for a replication pilot due to the time constraints of the project. On the contrary, we will give more emphasis on examining the phenomenon on a broader horizontal scope than focusing on vertical examination and covering specific user needs.