E -commerce (the exchange of goods and services via social networks and the Internet) has helped to transform and modify the logistics issues found in so-called “traditional” commerce.
Today, logistics is the keystone of the success of an e-commerce. However, as this commercial technique is new to many people, there may still be gray areas and many questions about the logistics to be put in place to ensure the sustainability of your e-commerce. You can get in touch with Transloading Services in Seattle. But how do you organize yourself to effectively manage the logistics aspect of your business?
Ensure optimized inventory management
Good inventory management is essential for the proper functioning of an e-commerce . And for good reason: it is on this management and the logistics put in place that your sales depend.
Good inventory management helps both to avoid stockouts during orders (and losing potential customers) and to accumulate too many assets (which will increase your storage costs).
Generally, when talking about optimized inventory management, two parameters must be taken into account: the storage method and inventory tracking.
Combined, these two parameters will allow you both to meet your customers’ demand and to optimize your storage methods.
The storage method
Today, there are several major trends in storage methods for e-commerce:
- The minimum inventory method, which involves restocking your warehouse when the quantity of a product drops below a certain threshold. This method has the advantage of avoiding any shortage of stock, but requires a warehouse capable of accumulating large quantities of merchandise.
- The just-in-time (or just-in-time)method, which consists of stocking up when a customer places an order. If this technique prevents e-commerce from building up a stock, it can however result in delays in the transport and delivery of the product.
- Demand forecasting, which uses market research to build up large inventories in anticipation of increased demand and orders. However, a miscalculation can easily lead to the storage of excess merchandise.
Each e-commerce will then have to choose its stock management method that best suits its profile.
Other techniques, such as dropshipping , make it possible to dispense with the constitution of a stock. In this case, the customer places his order with the e-commerce which then takes care of ordering from the supplier.
For the e-retailer, it will be essential, whatever the storage method implemented, to set up rigorous monitoring of stocks . This will allow him to satisfy demand, but also to sell products that are difficult to sell.
Thus, the use of tracking software will, for example, automatically signal the exhaustion of a stock and allow rapid replenishment.
In the same way, an optimized follow-up will make it possible to identify the products which are difficult to sell and to make decisions accordingly to accelerate sales (promotion, sales, etc.).
Implement an omnichannel strategy
The omnichannel strategy can be defined as the diversification of the points of sale of your ecommerce . It is then a question of allowing your potential customer to make their purchases on different distribution channels: online on your site, within your business or even on a market place (E-Bay, Amazon, etc. ).
The objective is then to get in touch with the prospect via many channels, whether by setting up a website adapted for use on mobile phones, by the presence of your e-commerce on the various platforms of online sales.
The omnichannel strategy improves the customer experience, thanks to the implementation of many features that facilitate its purchase. This strategy can materialize through the discovery of the product on a market place, the purchase on the merchant’s online store and finally the recovery of the product in the physical store. Whether you are targeting France or the international market, this diversification is today decisive and crucial for the future of your company.
The implementation of an omnichannel strategy within an e-commerce allows you to gain notoriety, to reach more prospects and to generate more orders. Here again, it is necessary to have a precise follow-up between the different channels and stocks to ensure optimal logistics.
Determine your shipping costs
Postage and shipping costs can quickly become a real headache for ecommerces. However, it is precisely on the expeditions and on their price that you can differentiate your online business from the competition.
It is therefore essential to think about it before any decision is taken. At the risk of leaking customers if your shipping costs prove to be too high. For this, it is essential to create a price list according to several parameters and in particular according to the delivery distance from your warehouse, the weight and the volume of the package.
A fairly common strategy is also to offer shipping beyond a certain amount purchased: you will then have to calculate the profitability of this operation. Do not hesitate either to make a call for tenders or to compare the different service providers to find the best delivery costs.
Depending on your capabilities, it will be possible to negotiate lower rates and even form strategic partnerships with a well-defined postal service. It will also be appropriate to negotiate insurance rates and late penalties with the delivery service.
Last thing: it is essential to provide for return costs, or, at a minimum, to clearly establish during the transaction with the customer, who is responsible for the shipping costs for a possible return of the goods.