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If you run a business and sell online, you rely on eCommerce logistics, which accounts for a wealth of moving parts to get your package where it needs to go. Manufacturers send products to suppliers, and suppliers ship these products to stores.
Without brick-and-mortar stores, eCommerce companies depend completely on logistics to deliver their products to their customers.
Most small businesses can manage their eCommerce logistics independently. However, as a business owner, you may want to invest in help from an eCommerce logistics company to help your business grow substantially.
This article will help you better understand the eCommerce logistics process, and offer guidance on managing logistics at your eCommerce company.
eCommerce logistics, also known as eLogistics, encompasses everything that happens between a customer placing an online order and receiving their package. Three major ways to run this process are:
While these are the three most popular eCommerce distribution methods, there are other options to choose from if none of these fit your business goals.
Whichever method you choose, the process typically follows the same steps. For example, let’s run through the process of someone ordering a new pair of shoes online.
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Online shopping is dramatically increasing. In 2020, 82% of Canadians shopped online, compared to only 73% in 2018. In 2022, this rate isn’t slowing down. Most customers expect retailers to offer an online option, even if they are primarily brick-and-mortar.
This expectation gives eCommerce platform owners a competitive advantage. However, poorly managed logistics can lead to a significant decrease in customer satisfaction. Ironically, this can put you at a disadvantage compared to your brick-and-mortar competitors.
With well-managed logistics, your eCommerce business gets:
Smooth commerce logistics result in a better customer experience. Consumers expect their orders to arrive on time and without damage. Proper eCommerce logistics management helps ensure that this happens.
Improper management can make you pay more than necessary. Shipping costs in Canada can be expensive, and eCommerce logistics management can help you reduce them. Partnering with trustworthy eCommerce logistics companies can also help you significantly reduce costs.
Part of good logistics is actively managing e-commerce warehousing. A well-thought-out eCommerce logistics plan lets you optimize the space in distribution centers and proactively restock popular items.
Knowing an item’s delivery status improves your inventory management and customer service. With full transparency into your supply chain, it’s easier for you to estimate when your customer will receive their parcel and detect lost items.
Think about your regular business practices and decide how you should fulfill orders based on them. Consider the advantages and disadvantages of self-order fulfillment to determine if it is right for you.
If you choose to outsource fulfillment, research which eCommerce logistics companies are best for your company. The right partner will help you get the most for your and your customer’s money.
Supply chain interruptions are out of your control. Unfortunately, these interruptions affect your delivery schedule. Compare the major shipping companies and diversify your suppliers to prevent business slowdowns. When more than one supplier is at your disposal, you can order from another if one has a delay.
Canadians use mobile devices more than computers for online shopping. So, online stores must be mobile-friendly. If customers struggle to navigate your storefront, they won’t bother purchasing your products.
Remember that mobile devices come in a wide range of resolutions. Opt for an adaptable web design instead of a list of static size options.
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Consider your eCommerce logistics Canada-wide. Many Canadian customers live in remote areas that are not easily accessible for major shipping companies. If you want to deliver products to people in these regions, you will need to make an effort to find sufficient shipping solutions for hard-to-reach locations.
Canada Post has a universal service policy that guarantees its ability to deliver to remote locations. If you are struggling to find a carrier that can meet this requirement, Canada Post is probably your best bet.
Always notify your customer when their order is shipped. Consumers appreciate the update, and it’s an easy yet effective way to build trust. If possible, try to provide them with an ETA (estimated time of arrival) for delivery. Many consumers will plan to stay home if they are expecting a delivery.
Opt for small businesses shipping solutions that let customers track their delivery too. Most people expect to be able to track their delivery and become frustrated when they cannot.
As much as you want to minimize returns, it’s best practice to have a straightforward return policy. Good reverse logistic management means that returned items will get back to you without additional damage, making reverse logistics just as important as its counterparts.
An efficient return process will improve inventory management and increase the likelihood that the customer who returned the item will purchase from you again.
Failing to follow logistics best practices can lead to lost revenue and a lot of mismanagement headaches. Luckily, with the right knowledge and tools, logistic best practices are easy to follow.
Before you open your online shop, make sure you know exactly how consumers will receive their purchases. Take the time to understand the logistics process in detail and seek the most effective ways to securely ship every order.
Ship Expert partners with leading eCommerce platforms to help your online store ship products to your customers with ease. Our experts can show you how you can reduce costs, save time, how shipping actually works, and give your customers a better shopping experience.
Contact us to find an eCommerce logistics solution that will help you meet every customer’s expectations without breaking your budget.
Featured Photo Credit: KOBU Agency