The increasingly rapid changes in the e-commerce industry are putting pressure on the traditional business model for 3PL logistics companies. The e-commerce market continues to expand, outpacing global growth in traditional commerce while attracting new players who are becoming successful.
However, e-fulfilment strategies and the supply chain infrastructures that support online stores are not keeping up with this growth. As a result, e-fulfilment service providers integrate with various courier companies and marketplace platforms. As a result, implementing intelligent solutions for automating warehouse processes contributes to improving the customer delivery experience, which is a critical success factor for any e-commerce business.
Below, the most common e-fulfilment challenges:
Inventory location accuracy
When a customer orders a product, the item should be easily located in the warehouse or the order should be placed as soon as possible. This involves excellent warehouse organization as well as excellent communication with suppliers. Any lag between these instances causes shipping delays to the end customer. Furthermore, if they paid for the fast delivery option, customers may be disappointed and will not return to your store. To avoid such situations, it is critical to keep a real-time data report of the products in the warehouse as well as the route they take. Their fast and easy location ensures that your shipment arrives on time and as precisely as possible to the consumer.
Stores struggle with two aspects of cost: the cost of delivery and keeping all shipments at a reasonable cost. Weight is the simplest way to calculate shipping costs. If you are unable to do so, consider setting shipping costs based on the type of delivery. Customers expect to pay more when they buy more, so they are less likely to decline shipping when their online cart is full.
Product return management
Some orders are damaged as a result of courier handling. In 2018, the three major US couriers (USPS, UPS, and FedEx) delivered approximately 13.5 billion packages. 11% were damaged or mis-delivered. That is, nearly 1.5 million goods were lost or damaged, which can result in a significant loss of revenue for a business. Therefore, consider the following options for your online store:
- Replace or repair the item (if possible)
- Provide a small discount on your next purchase
- Offer additional customer services, as well as the ability to file insurance and freight claims
- Return items should be completely removed or repaired (if possible)
Premium international shipping
If you run an online store that also serves international customers, you are aware that transport delays can range from a week to several months. Customers who order internationally may abandon their order if they have to wait too long without knowing when their order will arrive, even if they don’t expect next-day delivery. That’s why it’s a good idea to provide them multiple shipping cost options, including a premium option with more accurate tracking.
When it comes to end-consumers satisfaction and happiness, all e-commerce participants in the shopping process should be preoccupied at all times. In order to offer flexibility and quality to end consumers, both online stores and logistics and e-fulfilment providers should constantly develop and improve their operations.