E-commerce has become a significant part of the business world nowadays. In 2020, over two billion consumers purchased products/services online, according to Statista. The e-commerce market is expected to expand further this decade. But companies haven’t fully overcome the challenges associated with conducting business online. Let’s see supply chain strategies to improve your e-commerce business.
Perhaps, the secret behind the success of e-commerce lies in maintaining an effective supply chain. You have to ascertain that your products are packed and dispatched to customers successfully, as it is the most prominent aspect of effective supply chain management in modern-day business.
Even in 2021, companies struggle with inventory and warehouse management challenges. Most of them don’t find it affordable sometimes to maintain the sort of inventory needed for commercial operations. Undoubtedly, no business can survive without improving its logistics and ensuring timely deliveries to your customers.
There are different strategies that modern-day businesses apply to improve their e-commerce business. Let’s discuss some methods of improving logistics in your firm:
1. Use third-party logistics
You may consider employing third-party facilities to save money and optimize your fulfillment operations. These experts can help you via their influence, connections, and a hub of information, making your small business’s supply chain easier. Often third-party logistics provide you with a full suite of comprehensive warehousing services to streamline your supply chain operations. You should invest in these external warehouses to maximize the efficiency of your logistics operations. Here are the linen and tablecloths.
Those who want to benefit from third-party warehouse and logistics services in Los Angeles, California, can search for a reliable company via Google and get all the information beforehand. Just write ‘warehousing logistics Los Angeles CA’in your search bar to get maximum results.
2. Increase your visibility
You might’ve heard of supply chain visibility which refers to your organization’s ability to track all your products in circulation. Some companies allow consumers and the companies to track the delivery process in real time for better accountability. This technology enables the consumer to trust your service and understand delivery delays. Also, you can improve communication by enhancing supply chain visibility and permitting employees access to details about your product to help them provide prompt customer service.
Another method for increasing your visibility is by using ERP software for arranging inventory and organizing the warehouse. While traditional inventory management solutions had limitations that curbed their efficiency, modern ERP programs offer unlimited scalability options to fulfill your business needs. Another effective method is to incorporate automation in warehouse management to increase your supply chain’s efficiency. Automation enables you to perform repetitive functions more accurately than humans as they are prone to errors/mistakes. Hence, make sure to use an ERP software program to manage your warehouse in real time and monitor items more effectively. Many customers go for a 3PL because they are at an inflection point in their business. They are growing so fast for their warehouse and need you to handle that expansion. That’s where some of the importance of a 3PL WMS comes into play. These tools are crafted to handle sales, automate processes, and adapt to a variety of warehouse changes while your team focuses on the physical work in the warehouse.
3. Improve the inbound supply chain
Your company requires on-time delivery of materials. Unless you receive all the materials timely from vendors in, it’ll be difficult for you to carry on with the further process. So, you must realize what problems exist in the organization’s inbound supply chain and the number of vendors that cause the most delays. It is best to increase your vendor’s accountability in supply chain processes by:
- Communicating your expectations, terms, and conditions to vendors through a legal contract
- Maintaining a proper record of vendors deviating from normal service delivery
- Using a vendor management system to centralize information and oversee their performance
These practices will eliminate complications created by uncooperative vendors and make them more responsive.
4. Lower costs and time
Higher shipping costs demotivate most customers. So, companies should try implementing new strategies to reduce their shipping costs. For instance, they can offer “free shipping” options to consumers against a minimum spend threshold.
According to a survey conducted in 2019,75% of American consumers expect “free shipping” on online orders. In 2017, only 68% of customers wanted this facility on items purchased digitally. Another study states that some 88% of baby boomers anticipate this option while shopping online.
Moreover, slow deliveries turn down a majority of the audience. So, you must ensure timely deliveries at affordable shipping costs to attract more customers. Also, don’t forget to consider other factors such as customer support, staff management, transaction security, etc., that may significantly affect your customer satisfaction.
5. Increase your Transparency
Many e-commerce businesses face issues in inventory management due to a lack of transparency in the overall process. This ultimately leads to several hidden risks, including wastage and even fraudulent activities that threaten the efficiency of your business operations. Using inventory management software allows you to locate any forgotten item and identify the reason behind its disappearance. It further enhances the overall productivity of your business.
6. Increase paperwork accuracy
With the emergence of digital technologies such as barcode readers, manually counting all the items stored in the warehouse has become obsolete. You can significantly improve your online company’s supply chain management by adopting this technology. It’ll enable you to track all sorts of activities in the inventory without relying much on your workers to monitor your warehouse. You can now enhance fulfillment operations by implementing barcode technology to decrease processing time.
7. Better returns management
An e-commerce business often faces situations where a customer wishes to return a product. Such concerns pose additional challenges for online companies since they have to manage that item’s return effectively. Statistics show that around 15 to 40 percent of objects bought online are returned. For a growing e-commerce business, it is pertinent not to miss out on returns as it lets you identify major faults in your product or services that need to be improved.
Even today, several companies struggle to create strategies that can improve their e-commerce business. It is already understood that a business functions by providing high-quality products/services at affordable rates to customers. In addition, most online customers expect safe and timely delivery of their orders.
Companies should consider devising effective supply chain strategies to streamline and improve their overall operations. It is best to hire third-party logistics to save the cost of renting and running an excessively large warehouse. Improving inbound supply chain processes is another important factor that can help online companies to ensure online business success. Besides, increasing online visibility, paperwork accuracy, effective returns management, etc., are some other strategies that allow your business to improve its supply chain and produce better results. By doing so, you will have more satisfied customers with cost-effective inventory management.