Today at Lógicos 3PL we are going to speak about transportation management in e-commerce platforms. Usually, an optimal ecommerce logistics often makes the difference between profit and loss, between success and failure of your online store.
Today we will speak about the importance of this management in ecommerce platforms and a few keys to the process of transportation. If your logistics strategy is not optimally organised and not extremely efficient, there is a great chance that conversion will also fail.
When this happens, you will have to make sacrifices and compromises that will result in high logistics costs.
The importance of ecommerce logistics management
Usually in the management of an ecommerce the online part is given more importance rather than the offline; it tends to have more attention with sections related to the website itself, the SEO, the images and texts…
But every time the offline part is a little neglected we hear sentences such as: "all transports are the same" or "they will deliver on time and charge extra".
Even worse are the people that say that they cannot do what they thought just because they did not ask themselves if it was possible.
Managing an ecommerce implies not only having the necessary infrastructures but also the right knowledge for the logistics process to be carried out successfully, because you have to remember that a failed delivery can make you lose a customer forever.
If we do not properly manage the logistics process and meet the deadlines and agreed forms consumers are never going to be satisfied.
The keys to the logistics process in ecommerce
As we were saying, customers are becoming more and more demanding, often even more demanding than the real needs of the purchase we have made. In order to meet this expectation, the logistics operator must have controlled the key aspects that will allow him to be successful:
- Warehouse storage: We can´t highlight enough the importance of the managing a warehouse. Having a warehouse adequate to the needs both in terms of space and internal structure will allow us to develop the activity without any problem.
Changing the configuration of the warehouse and making the most of the resources depending on the type of merchandise we have must be a constant strategy.
- Stock control: What is the point of selling a lot if we do not have that product in the warehouse? It will be of maximum importance the stock control as well as the treatment of that information, since we must be able to offer in real time to the ecommerce the stock data so that there are no breakage. If you want more information on Inventory management you can check out this blog post we published a few days ago.
- Picking (order preparation): This is one of the most Important parts, where the value of an operator is clearly shown. We must be equipped with the necessary computer equipment (reading guns, order capturers, etc...) as well as the necessary and trained personnel to be able to prepare the orders correctly.
- Transport: The delivery (transport) can be either a service that the client requests and the logistic counterpart manages or directly contracted externally. In one case or the other we will have to communicate with that supplier to be able to exchange information in real time and offer the complete data package to the customer.
What are the main ecommerce logistics options considering transportation?
If you run a handmade jewelry store from your own home, you can cut costs by taking care of all your e-commerce logistics operations yourself. But for those who have to ship hundreds or thousands of orders a week, it would be crazy.
Plus, it would take you away from what should really keep you busy: adapting to new online technologies.
There are different ways to organize the logistics process:
- Fulfilment (e-fulfilment)
- Manage the logistics yourself
- Contract the distribution with a carrier
- Use a computerized logistics platform
E-commerce logistics: Dropshipping
Dropshipping is the same as direct shipment, i.e. "resale". If you as an online store make use of dropshipping, you are choosing to offer products that you do not have currently in stock. When an order comes in, you order the item from the manufacturer or supplier who then ships it directly to the consumer.
E-fulfilment, another option for your e-commerce logistics
Another form of outsourcing is fulfillment (e-fulfilment when it comes to online sales.) In e-commerce logistics this is the generic name given to the complete process of the product in your online store, from storage and stock management to the preparation of orders and their shipment to the customer (including eventual returns.)
One explanation for the success of this modality is that fulfillment companies master the technology, expertise and quality controls that allow the logistics process to develop in an optimal way.
Ecommerce logistics management on your own account
Avoiding the risk of losing control and being able to count on contracts with a considerably higher profit margin may be reason enough to self-manage logistics. However, "managing it yourself" sounds like a lot of work. And it is.
Imagine processing orders, printing shipping labels, delivering packages, handling returns... it all falls on you, and even if you can buy software, that costs money too. In addition, the e-commerce sector is one of the fastest developing and most innovative industries, continually imposing new trends.
Sign a contract with a freight forwarder for your ecommerce logistics
UPS, GLS, MRW, Correos, FedEx... among so many carriers it is difficult to choose the most suitable one for your business: one offers an even better, faster or more customised shipping strategy than another.
As there is a lot of competition, it is possible for large companies to negotiate good prices for their shipments, but whichever way you look at it, the carrier always takes a part of your profit margin.
Use of a computerised platform for automated e-commerce logistics
Finally, you can choose to make use of a computerised platform through which you connect your store with numerous carriers inside and outside the country.
The great advantage of this system is that you are one hundred percent sure of an optimal shipping process.