Investigator: Qing He
Funding Source: IBM
Abstract: The increasing attention and popularity gained by social media and social networking services over the past several years have brought new opportunities for e-commerce, known as "social commerce". This project, funded by IBM, looks to model order fulfillment with local brick-and-mortar stores for traditional retailers and further reduce its operation and transportation costs by leveraging "Social Commerce", enhanced by Big Data in social networks. In pursuit of this goal, this research consists of two major components. First, this study will develop a mathematic formulation to model order fulfillment process with Same Day Delivery. Second, the project plans to build an ensemble simulation model to test the concept of a new strategy, which combines "Big Data" in social network to enhance order fulfillment process. The core idea is to allow customers' online orders to be delivered by a network of "Social Transportation", which consists of friends' daily travel routines (trip chains), potentially intercepting packages at local stores and the target customer's locations at home, work, gym, etc. The proposed project will serve as a theoretic foundation to leverage social networks to improve online order fulfillment with same day delivery from local stores.