Everything you need to know about logistics for ecommerce
If you are the owner of an ecommerce business, you should have a clear understanding about logistics as well. That’s because you need to make sure that back-end supply chain works smoothly and it cannot lead you towards any frustration when managing business activities. As you are managing an ecommerce business, you don’t have a brick and mortar storefront, so that you can store all the inventory. You will need to rely on the third party supplies and make sure that all your orders are fulfilled effectively. It also plays a major role behind basic time management and the bottom line of your business.
How does logistics for ecommerce work?
The way how logistics work for a small scale business can easily be understood, as it is not complex. However, learning how logistics work for an ecommerce business is never that easy.
Whenever a customer places an order through your ecommerce store, your inventory software will be triggered. You are working as a retailer in here. As a result, you have integrated the ecommerce store with an inventory management system to overcome hassle. The payment made by the customer will also be stored and the inventory records that you have in your ecommerce store inventory management system will be adjusted accordingly.
When you get the notification for customer order, you will have to go ahead and ship the product. The exact process that you have to go through in order to fulfill the customer order would vary based on several factors.
If you are running the operations from home
In case if you have the inventory at home, or even in a separate physical office that you can access, you just need to take it, pack it and send to the customer who placed the order. This is a good option available for small and medium scale ecommerce store owners to consider about. That’s because you can save a lot of money, which was supposed to be spent on the overheads. In other words, you are not outsourcing the warehouse management activities to a third party service provider. You do it on your own.
If you are a brick and mortar retailer
If you are the owner of the storefront location and you have space to store all the products that you sell through the online store, the story is pretty much similar to above. You need to pick the product, pack it and ship to the customer, who is awaiting.
If you have outsourced your logistics
For large companies, logistics for ecommerce is usually outsourced. That’s because you will not be able to go through the above-mentioned process efficiently due to the large volume of orders that are flowing in. In such a situation, you will need to outsource the logistics operations to a third party. In here, you should synchronize the store with the third party outsourced service provider as well. When a customer makes a purchase through the online store, the outsourced partner, who manages your warehouse will be notified. As a result, the outsourced partner will pick the product, package it and ship out. This can provide you with the opportunity to keep your hands away from the logistics process. On the other hand, it can also help you to keep the peace of mind as you don’t need to worry about shipping or fulfilling customer orders. The time you save can be used to take a look at the other aspects of the website.
Can you still track your orders?
Yes, you can still track your orders, which are managed by the outsourced service provider. To do that, you need to access the inventory management system. Then you can get a better overview of how the customer orders have been fulfilled. These inventory management tools are also in a position to provide you with real time insights on the products that you ship out. Therefore, you will never stay behind on the customer orders. You can also integrate the solution with shipping services, such as USPS, FedEx and UP, so that you can track the complete order fulfillment process, until the parcel is delivered to your customer.