The onset of COVID-19 has completely changed the global business landscape. Businesses have recognized the influence and supremacy of e-commerce worldwide.
From basic needs to luxury items, e-commerce websites and online stores have changed the way people purchase goods.
Effective supply chain management techniques apply to e-commerce businesses the same way they do in conventional setups. Businesses cannot operate alone in the highly competitive online markets, and the success of an e-commerce business lies in close coordination among all parties involved, directly or indirectly, in fulfilling a customer request.
One of the major drivers of a successful e-commerce business is how efficiently and seamlessly the product is moved from the inventory to the customer delivery point. The choice of a logistics partner has a large impact on an e-commerce business’ responsiveness, efficiency, and reputation.
What Is An E-Commerce Logistics Service?
The term logistics is not confined to the mere transportation of a product. It encompasses storing and shipping the inventory of an online store to the customer’s doorstep. The following processes are involved in e-commerce logistics service:
- Inventory storage and management
- Moving merchandise from the manufacturer
- Order packaging
- Order shipment
- Payment processing in case of Cash on Delivery (COD)
- Order return management
- Benefits of Logistics Services in e-commerce
Benefits Of An E-Commerce Logistics Partner
Logistics in e-commerce is considered a significant aspect of success. Outsourcing order fulfillment in e-commerce saves time and cost and sets you free from the trouble of arranging the packaging, transport, and delivery of customer orders.
Amazon store provides you Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) service, where you choose an Amazon prep and shipping company for order fulfillment. For example, a business based in Los Angeles can hire a trusted FBA Amazon Los Angeles CA logistics company to handle the entire order fulfillment process, including collection, packaging, and delivery of the product.
This way, you will get a chance to fully concentrate on the core business processes of the online store instead.
Most individuals start an e-commerce business without planning extra inventory storage and order fulfillment processes. Yet it is a crucial decision for an e-commerce business.
After you establish a product sourcing channel, identify a trusted e-commerce logistics service, and you are finally ready to sell your products.
Things To Look For In Your E-Commerce Logistics Partner
Choosing the right e-commerce logistics partner is one of the most crucial decisions to make or break your e-commerce business. A survey shows that 68% of customers prefer quick delivery in online shopping.
Customers who get their product within the estimated time are more likely to shop again from your online store. Another aspect to consider for customer retention is the condition in which the product reaches the customer.
Let’s look at some of the major aspects you need to consider when choosing an e-commerce logistics partner:
1. B2B Fulfilment
When planning for e-commerce logistics, always choose a reliable and efficient partner who can ensure efficient B2B order fulfillment since your business relies on sustainable inventory size. Your inventory should be restocked before reaching the minimum inventory renewal point to avoid getting out of stock in an ideal situation. A trusted logistics partner will ensure you don’t face such a situation.
2. Kitting And Assembly
Some of the e-Commerce logistics partners can take care of compiling all individual components into a ready-to-ship package, also known as kits. If your product needs to be assembled before delivery, e-commerce logistics can do the job for you. If your e-commerce business deals with products that require kitting and assembling, choosing a logistics partner who provides these services will work best for you.
3. Reverse Logistics And Returns Processing
Study shows that businesses that facilitate customers with easy product return service have a 92% customer retention rate. Reverse logistics deals with taking returned products back to the seller in both B2C and B2B business models. A major challenge in most e-commerce businesses is to manage returns. A credible e-commerce logistics service makes this procedure easier with smooth returns processing.
4. Website And Shopping Cart Integrations
When choosing a logistics partner for your e-commerce website, always look for those companies that offer website and shopping cart integration. Many well-known e-commerce logistics integrate your website’s e-commerce components like shopping cart, payment methods, and order delivery details. This way, the order fulfillment process becomes more efficient by reducing delays in order picking and transportation arrangements.
A large majority of e-Commerce websites or online stores source their items for sale from the southeast and get customer orders from around the world. Smart logistics partners with a greater coverage area make it possible for the business to reach people across the country and beyond borders.
6. Order Tracking
One of the most important services that boost customers’ trust in an e-commerce business is the ability to track orders online. Intelligent logistics partners use technology to make order fulfillment more transparent to customers and help your business win customer loyalty and trust. Customers can get the latest order status through an order tracking facility and estimate how long it will take the product to reach their doorstep.
7. Quick Delivery
Many customers don’t proceed to order placement in online stores due to long delivery times. Always choose a logistics partner that ensures minimum order fulfillment time.
If the product is to be delivered within the same city or state, your logistics partner must attempt to deliver the order on the same day. A delivery time of more than three days can seriously impact your sales and customer retention.
8. Shipment Costs
Shipment costs are a major factor in deciding a product’s price. In an ever-expanding highly-competitive digital marketplace, businesses strive to provide maximum value to customers at a minimum cost.
A logistics partner that offers affordable shipment rates can help you lower your product price and compete in the digital marketplace. Negotiate with your logistics partner regarding shipment rates and contingency planning in case of product damages and unprecedented delays in delivery.
9. Credibility & Reputation
When choosing a logistics partner, the first thing to look for is their reputation and credibility. You can read reviews and testimonials, research other businesses using the same logistics company, and see how efficiently their products are delivered.
You can also purchase products from local online businesses and see which logistics service is the quickest in delivering products without damage and delays.
When assessing the credibility of a logistics company, always make sure that they:
- Encourage the use of technology for order tracking
- Ensure maximum security measures
- Store products in a safe place
- Ensure safe packaging to avoid damages, particularly fragile products
- Guarantee delivery of the products in original condition
10. Customer Service
The quality and condition in which a customer receives the product speak louder than words of how reliable you are as a business. The customer will not pinpoint the logistics service for damage or flaws in the quality of the product.
Any customer review would focus on your inability to deliver the right product in mint condition. As such, a logistics partner represents your business interacting face-to-face with your customer.
Therefore, it is necessary to choose a service provider who adds value to your business and pays careful attention to customer service by responding to customer queries, providing tracking services, managing claims and returns, and ensuring efficient last-mile delivery.
E-Commerce is expanding at an ever-increasing pace. The growing competition within the same market requires a careful choice of a strong e-commerce logistics partner that can reduce shipment costs, maximize efficiency, and increase customer trust through quality service.
A robust logistics partner for your e-commerce business gives you the flexibility to grow your business without the trouble of managing the order fulfillment process.
The success of your online business depends heavily on a reliable logistics partner, and working in close collaboration with them sets the future direction of your business.