Logistics is the heart of e-commerce, a fundamental aspect on which the result of your business depends. It is shipments and returns, in fact, that make the difference and determine if an e-shop is successful or not.
Today, more and more online retailers are choosing logistics outsourcing. Outsourcing logistics for e-commerce is certainly an economic advantage. No investment in real estate, facilities, vehicles and personnel, and more opportunity to focus on your business and future developments. However, losing control of important processes, such as warehouse management or delivery services, can be risky. How do you choose your logistics partner? How to create a good synergy between logistics and e-commerce? How to give added value to the customer?
Plan the Logistics for E-Commerce by Evaluating 7 Factors
What do consumers want when they buy a product online? The answer can be found by analyzing 7 key factors underlying the planning of logistics for e-commerce.
1. Reliability and speed: the buyer has high expectations regarding the delivery service of products purchased online. Among these is speed. In order to guarantee fast deliveries, there is a need for internal logistics capable of guaranteeing the availability of as many products as possible (correct stock management) and capable of receiving, processing and shipping orders very quickly. Moreover, the very structure of the warehouses (in particular the large ones), is increasingly adapting to the rhythms and needs of the modern logistics chain. From automated systems to loading bays designed specifically for commercial vehicles (such as those built by Campisa), everything is moving in the direction of efficiency, speed and streamlining of processes;
2. Punctuality of delivery: one of the customer’s primary requirements is compliance with the lead time. Guaranteeing the delivery of the goods exactly on the day and in the time period communicated means that the customer does not have a negative perception of the service received;
3. Flexibility in delivery: The future of e-commerce logistics is customization. Enabling customers to decide where and when to collect goods not only increases their level of satisfaction but also facilitates the delivery process by eliminating “empty trips” (attempted deliveries) and calls to call centers. Providing a service that allows delivery on weekends or in the evening and setting up alternative collection points for customers at ‘lockers’, shops or other facilities located in the area can improve their performance;
4. Value-added services: Services such as installation, product testing and take-back/disposal of used products are considered competitive factors at the delivery stage;
5. Order tracking: Consumers expect immediate monitoring information. It is essential to provide customers with the ability to track the path of the ordered goods not only on the courier’s website, but also within their own e-commerce. And this is possible if the logistics partner is equipped with a cutting-edge IT platform that can be integrated with its own systems;
6. Customer service: good customer care that listens to and understands customers and finds effective solutions to problems both at the time of purchase and after the sale, including through social channels, helps to establish a lasting relationship. The same logistics for e-commerce becomes an opportunity to relate with the end customer, as the latter is closest to the e-shopper during all the after-sales phases, from shipment to delivery. In order to achieve customer satisfaction, it is a good idea that the logistics supplier should also be provided with a customer service structured on the basis of the fundamental principles of dialogue and assistance;
7. Ease of returns: a good reverse logistics and therefore a certain simplicity in returns can represent a “commercial plus”. A customer who has just received a non-conforming, defective or damaged product is very unsatisfied. It is therefore important to implement simple procedures to return the goods without too many complications so as not to cause them any further inconvenience and to avoid negative word of mouth. Here, too, the choice can be to allow him to book the collection by the courier at times appropriate to him at home or to deliver the return at a store or post office and decide whether to implement a replacement or obtain a refund. Well, also, that right from the order stage the customer is informed about the methods of return.