Ready to build an online store to reach new markets and customers? Planned your supply chain and delivery options? Not yet?
Well, well time to start chalking your strategies for order delivery.
Let us elaborate… ...
Selling products or services online has its own set of challenges. Unlike a conventional model where customers come to the store for purchases, this is going to be downright reversed. You will have to reach your end-users through a systematic supply chain process.
So what should be your mantra?
Logistics: The key to e-commerce success
Well, especially in the online business , managing your shipments properly, is the key to customer satisfaction. The better you handle the logistics, the more you are closer to building a long term rapport with your customers. It's as simple as that!
But is it that easy?
When it comes to implementing a streamlined supply chain, it doesn't go that smooth. From managing the pickup by your third-party courier to reverse shipments, if not managed and planned well, it all becomes one big confusing maze!
In this blog, let's see what are those pain points about e-commerce supply management that we, as entrepreneurs hate the most. Going forward we will see how to avoid them so that this becomes a turning point for your business success .
1. Not getting the right fulfillment partner (s)
As an online brand owner, finding the right fulfillment partner could be your biggest nightmare. If you want your online business to expand and serve your customers well, you need to find a reliable carrier to watch your back.
A carrier just delivers products you would say? But in reality, a capable logistics partner becomes your ultimate helping hand to save you costs and improve your branding experience. In comparison to this, picking the wrong one can prove costly to an alarming extent. Therefore when it's time for you to cherry-pick a shipment partner, you might want to consider the following points:
Choose a partner that can meet your needs
There are countless 3PL companies out there who claim to deliver your products at the right place and at the right time. But do they support your other requirements? For instance, helping you with an appropriate packaging of your goods to ensure products reach the customers safe and sound. Once you build an online store and plan your supply management, think about all these points and then shake hands with a carrier who caters to all your needs
Choose a partner that will grow your business
A good shipping service provider strives for your brand's growth as much as you do. For your online venture to succeed, you need two things. Firstly, you need to reach your target audience . Secondly, you need to appeal to them. Now, can your carrier help you with a wider demographic range and reach far and wide? Can it deliver to areas you considered too difficult to reach? Entrepreneurs often miss out on these points when they decide whom to rely on for their logistics needs. Maybe you don't want to!
Choose a partner that provides seamless integration
Fast and accurate order processing is likely to catalyse fast and accurate delivery of products. So what's the best way to make this happen? Well, hire a carrier that's driven by technology . When 3PL partners opt for automated solutions they produce better results which reflect in your customer satisfaction levels
Pro-Tip: Build an online store with StoreHippo and get an integrated shipping solution with the leading shipping aggregator platforms like Shiprocket and Shyplite. When you have multiple carriers by your side, all your shipping-related needs are taken care of. Needless to say, you can choose the best rates and find carriers that keep your budget in check.
2. The burden of reverse logistics
When shipments leave your warehouse, there is a possibility that they will return too. So while you think of a forward supply chain, you need to think about reverse management too. As a business owner, this can be your biggest pain point.
When products are returned, it adds cost to your supply chain. Multiply the number of products returned per month and you might be surprised as to how much time and capital investment goes into reverse management.
So is there no way to deal with it? Well, first things first. You might want to make the reverse logistics processes easier for your customers. Provide your customers with an option to return the items to you in just a few clicks. One way to do this by making your reverse ordering processes more swift and easy. Also, make sure that your carrier is supportive in this process and picks up the products in the promised timeframe.
As mentioned in the previous point, when you have good logistics aggregators at your disposal, along with the best products and prices, your reverse order numbers would go down substantially. Customers will be happy and not return orders when they get what they want, when they want and how they want.
Pro-Tip: Sometimes, e-commerce orders are returned when customers receive them after they no longer need them. For instance, when they want to send some gift items to their loved ones. If your supply chain is automated, you can schedule pickups, keep updated with real-time logistics to track orders and hence save yourself from the hassle of climbing the ladder backwards.
3. Dealing with various kinds of fulfillment needs
As a business owner of an online store, you will realize over time that customer needs and demands have no limits. With more orders flowing in, come several kinds of needs. This requires a flexible supply chain that incorporates all kinds of fulfillment demands. Now, what can those be?
Sometimes customers split their orders. They are ready to pay extra for the items that they need urgently while other items in the cart can follow standard shipping speed. When your logistics process offers a partial fulfillment solution, this can be easily possible. Straight-forwardly, you can divide orders among two or three carriers and choose the one who provides the fastest delivery for urgent orders.
Say, for instance, you are based out of a small city in India. However, the online market is not demographically limited. Your customer base can be at any corner of the world and you can receive orders from across the country. In this case, you need to ship orders globally and your logistics partners should have feasible solutions for the same
When you build an online store, you never know where orders come pouring from! While you may have customers from different countries, you may also receive orders from small towns and cities. The majority of these customers prefer to pay in cash upon receiving their products. Your shipping strategy should not overlook this aspect and offer customers multiple payment options to suit what they prefer
Pro-tip: StoreHippo offers seamless integrations with logistics aggregator platforms to help build a seamless supply chain for its clients. These shipping aggregators offer unique fulfillment solutions along with other greater benefits like discounted shipping, carrier charges comparison, global shipping and more. When you partner with these 3PL you can gain the most out of your e-commerce supply chain process.
4. Tedious manual shipping processes
Ask yourself, have you got all day? Can you manually fulfill all your orders and create shipping labels or automate the entire process. The choice is yours! Automating your fulfillment needs can help you in many more ways than you can think. It can:
With processes are automated, it reduces the time for processing individual shipments and ships orders faster
Automating e-commerce logistics reduce the additional expenses for every order by eliminating the need for manual assistance
When your shipments are streamlined because of automatic order sync and scheduled pickup, manual errors are a utomation in the supply chain industry has already benefited many businesses. But not by reducing cost or saving time alone. Its biggest intangible benefit is customer satisfaction. This will reflect over time and produce life-long results. Also, with automated shipping solutions like StoreHippo, you stop doing all the logistics related tasks manually and focus on the core business.
5. Overwhelming shipment cost calculations
Since you are in the online business, you know exactly how much your company pays for Google Ads to generate leads, isn't it? Similarly with most other operating costs such as insurance, rent, wages, resources - you know how much you are paying in advance. This helps you determine whether these combined inputs will fetch you profitability.
The cost of shipping (which also affects profitability), should also be just as simple to calculate and just as much controllable. However, for most businesses, it remains an ad hoc and time-consuming bit of the logistics chain.
While your shipping partner will handle this part for you, what do you need to know to cross-check the cost?
This should be simple. Just measure the weight of the product. Along with this also note its dimensions.
You surely know where the package is supposed to be shipped. You can easily calculate the transportation cost basis that.
What is it that you are shipping? Is it just a common cosmetic or some fine jewelery ? One important consideration that affects your overall shipment cost is whether you need to purchase additional insurance to protect the contents.
Lastly, you would also want to estimate shipping-cost calculations thinking of a remote possibility of unexpected charges. This could include return logistics
However, do not get hassled with the math. It isn't that complicated after all!
Pro tip: Once you calculate the cost of the package, you can leverage the option of multiple shipment carriers and choose the one that offers you the best rate.
StoreHippo not only helps you build an online store but also offers simple solutions for all your logistics needs. It provides you with suitable options using its logistics aggregator partners. You can automate your fulfillment chain and make the most out of the benefits it offers. You can negotiate the best prices and integrate with several good and experienced carriers to scale your business.
Still think that the above-mentioned logistics points are bothersome? Get going with our unparalleled support and solutions. Call us for a free demo today!