What is E-Commerce Logistics and What’s The Challenge in 2019?
E-commerce Logistics are some of the most important aspects to running a successful business online and entails management of inventory, picking, packing, and shipping of any orders.
E-commerce logistics refer to the process of storing as well as shipment of goods from an online store to the customer’s destination.
Logistics in e-commerce platforms also entails management of inventory during picking, packing, and shipping of any orders made online. Ideally, logistics commence as soon as an order is made with the manufacturer and ends when the client receives their product. Here are the main processes involved in E-commerce logistics.
Components of E-Commerce Logistics
1. Inventory Management
Inventory management involves monitoring stored goods using proper methods. Management of inventory helps digital stores to keep track of their stocks. The process also allows the seller to make predictions of what sells more than the rest. The logic behind tracking of inventory is to ensure that a company doesn’t run out of stock unexpectedly. The process also allows a store to make future predictions based on customer buying trends.
Warehousing revolves around having a physical store where products are stored, managed, and tracked before being dispatched to customers. Warehousing has faced tremendous improvements with time. Currently, most online stores have put in place warehousing management systems that make it easy to track inventory while saving time. The software used helps to eliminate manual processes that usually take more time and are costly.
3. Order Fulfillment
This is the most crucial component of e commerce and logistics because it ensures that orders get to the clients in good condition and promptly. The process entails picking of an order, packing, and then shipping. A business may decide to carry out in-house fulfillment or outsource to third parties depending on order quantity, size of the business, and the location of the customer.
Most online merchants opt to use freight forwarders for e-commerce logistics. The freight forwarders then facilitate storage, transit, and customs clearance. Since anything can happen during transit, it is advisable that traders acquire a freight forwarders insurance policy to mitigate against any damage to goods or even loss.
E-Commerce Logistics Challenges in 2019
E-commerce is affected by several challenges unique from the brick and mortar retail stores. Despite the challenges, customers want to shop conveniently. As such, online stores have to work hard at ensuring they maintain a balance that protects their customers while remaining competitive in the market. It is an undeniable fact that e-commerce is growing at a phenomenal rate, and as it grows, several problems are experienced. Here are some of the trends that e-commerce platforms should look out for in 2019.
1. Identity Theft
As internet access globally increases, more shoppers prefer to buy goods online due to the convenience it offers. Consequently, identity thieves have gained an opportunity to victimise both shoppers and sellers through identity theft. For instance, a criminal may use another person’s bank details to make payments. Sellers should, therefore, come up with ways to curb identity theft through screening of details. Otherwise, the problem will persist and consequently, scaring shoppers.
Criminals have especially targeted online shopping platforms to gain access to user data through hacking of systems. When clients shop online, they want their details to remain safe. However, unauthorised access to online data has been on the rise in the recent past. The information is then used to dupe both sellers and buyers to give in into the fraudsters’ demands. However, most companies have come up with security solutions as well as customer awareness campaigns against fraud either through phishing or hacking of data.
3. Counterfeit Products
Most online merchants advertise different goods from the goods dispatched to buyers. This trend makes most customers fear shopping online and instead, opt for physical stores. Every buyer wants value for money by getting exactly what they order online. The dishonest sellers threaten the legitimacy of most honest traders.
4. Same Day Delivery
Consumers want a platform that allows them to receive their orders the same day. This means that companies have to work harder to ensure faster e commerce logistics and fulfillment. It then implies that orders that were prepared in a day have to be ready within a few minutes to a few hours. By so doing, the orders can then get shipped to the customers within the shortest time possible.
As e-commerce businesses evolve, new technologies keep emerging that help online traders to realise faster fulfillment of orders. Some companies have set the pace for others with trends that place customer satisfaction as a priority. In return, customers remain loyal to such businesses.
A report by PRNewswire indicated that 64 percent of millennials prefer shopping online if they can get the same day delivery.
The survey also revealed that 61 percent of shoppers would be willing to pay more if delivery is made on the same day. The report also indicated that 88 percent of overall online buyers prefer the same day delivery.
It, therefore, implies that online merchants should work towards having as many stores in different geographical locations. This way, a shipment not only becomes faster but also cheaper. Such a move would ensure that an online business remains competitive by offering consumers what they want. Amazon has been on the lead at ensuring they have as many physical locations in different regions to facilitate faster delivery.
5. Delivery Using Robots and Drones
Amazon has experimented using drones to deliver orders to clients. Other companies have experimented using robots. For instance, in San Francisco, a robot is used for deliveries along the sidewalks. Robots need human monitoring while some locations have restrictions on the use of drones. All the same, the use of robots and drones is a trend worth looking into in 2019 because it is bound to change the dynamics of e commerce transportation in the future.
6. Intelligent Technology and Sensors
Clients want to know the humidity and temperature of orders such as pharmaceuticals and beverages. The use of sensors has now become a standard for any company that ships highly perishable goods. Sensors are placed on the goods such that a customer can track the condition of the products while on transit. To maintain a competitive edge, merchants have to invest in such technology.
The evolution of eCommerce has enabled multiple shipping options allowing customers more control over the delivery process than ever before. These rules combined with your wholesale customer base makes expanding from small packages shipped via USPS, UPS, and Fed Ex to larger items via less than truckload modes much more complex. Having your eCommerce Logistics sorted out will help your business run efficiently.