For businesses, ecommerce has many advantages compared to traditional storefronts or ‘brick and mortar’. They include being:
- Cheaper to set up and maintain
- Not restricted by geography and opening hours
- Easier to scale
- Access to data and analytics
While ecommerce has been a game changer for businesses, it has also changed consumer behaviour. Consumers now expect easy access to a wide range of goods, plus cheap and fast delivery.
Online businesses of all niches require the constant assistance of Ecommerce logistics companies to scale their business and reach millions of customers. Ecommerce businesses need more effective and efficient logistics solutions to handle increasing volumes, with millions of customers now preferring shopping online.
Ecommerce logistics companies in India work by providing shipping, packaging, and picking services to online stores. They also offer many other shipping services to help a business grow and reach a newer audience. The only way to truly optimize logistics operations is to understand how end-to-end logistics work. With a proper understanding of the various delivery stages, the best logistics company for ecommerce can be determined.
Teaming up with a reliable and trustworthy logistics partner is just one step in the right direction. Every stage of the delivery process is subject to complexities and difficulties, from when an order is placed until the customer finally receives it. The goal of every eCommerce logistics company in India is to simplify the process of sending orders from the seller to the customer. But the massive growth of eCommerce and social commerce in the past decade has challenged logistics providers to add more and more shipping services to their existing repertoire.
There are 5 phases in the shipping and delivery process which help you determine how your eCommerce business can optimize fulfilment:-
- Inventory And Warehousing
Inventory management is an integral part of order fulfillment and is a huge part of eCommerce logistics work. In this part of the process, systems ensure that the products sold on the ecommerce platforms are available. They trigger a process that allows businesses to ready an order for dispatch as soon as it is placed.
Most logistics companies offer warehousing services where stocks of items can be stored and quickly picked up by their delivery agents. A logistics company provides eCommerce clients with extensive warehouse and inventory management solutions.
A WMS (Warehouse Management System) and OMS (Order Management System) can record inventory, keep track of incoming and outgoing items, and manage product returns and exchanges. This can help save time and costs when it comes time to shipping an order. Some logistics companies even specialize in inventory management which lets you keep track of your stock on a real-time basis.
- Transportation And In-Transit Storage
While 3PL logistics companies handle a whole range of logistics services, the bulk of their work safely transports the order to its final destination.
Most logistics partners maintain their fleet of trucks. Others may outsource their vehicles from other transportation and trucking companies. Transportation is a crucial thing to look at if your online store plans to ship orders internationally or cross-borders.
Some also offer warehousing and storage facilities in transit, so items can be safely stored overnight before resuming their journey. The resources they use for shipping orders can impact delivery speed and cost.
The tracking services used by the logistics company can also make a difference in customer experience. Real-time tracking updates using tech-enabled solutions can keep customers excited about their orders, even if delivery has just begun.
- Last Mile Delivery And Delivery Exception
The last mile of delivery is the final stretch in the transportation services provided by logistics companies. This stretch takes orders from their in-transit storage locations and delivers them to customers.
In last-mile delivery operations, a delivery agent picks up the order from the nearest hub. It also delivers it to the customer in a vehicle or fleet of their own. Last-mile delivery is known to be the most expensive stretch of the delivery process because of the problems and challenges it faces.
This is the stretch where delivery exceptions can occur, like delivery delays. When shipments are stuck at ports due to customs or other issues, carriers and ecommerce platforms need to address it as soon as possible.
Reverse logistics is as essential an element of delivery as forwarding logistics. A big part of eCommerce logistics is to work out ways to reduce returns and learn to manage them in a way that costs the eCommerce store next to no loss.
Few also provide quality checks (QC services) when the returned order is picked up. This ensures that the correct undamaged product is being produced. A logistics company with an established returns management system provides a majority of returned orders, if not all, back safely at their origin warehouse.
As anyone would be able to guess, the work of a best logistics company in e-commerce is to oversee the packing, pick-up, and successful delivery of any orders placed with them. However, for eCommerce logistics, the scope of services goes far beyond this. eCommerce logistics companies in India must properly use the latest technological advancements to make their solutions the most efficient.
To survive and thrive online, a business will need to ensure its ecommerce supply chain is resilient, flexible, and agile. Integrated logistics solutions, which cover all aspects of the supply chain – from procurement to customer fulfilment and returns – may be the missing link for many businesses.
One of the key benefits of integrated logistics services is end to end visibility. With integrated logistics services, the business can collect accurate, real-time data from processes, partners, vendors, and technology.
Integrated logistics solutions can also help protect a business from other external pressures like geopolitical situations and weather events. When an issue arises, a business can respond quickly. It can vary transportation types and routes. It can move stock from warehouses. It can also lean on its logistics partner to manage much of the complexity, leaving it to focus on its business priorities.
The potential for ecommerce is huge – regardless of the size of a business. For a business that secures a resilient, flexible, and agile ecommerce supply chain, the opportunities to reach new heights are endless.